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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Cooperation Jackson at 10: Lessons for Building a Solidarity Economy

I call it the 24-month window. We’ve had 24 folks that we’ve seen in 10 years. Farming is not how they view themselves in the long term. That’s fine. But we now know that to keep this political commitment it requires a lot of rotational labor, which means you are kind of starting over every two or three years with another crew. 

This is a limitation about our model that we have learned. We are trying to adjust and figure out how we shift this out in a particular way. We are in a different place to deal with this challenge because of the community land trust. If we were renting somebody’s land and the yield was variable from year to year, more than likely it wouldn’t survive. Because it is collectively owned, we can make it and do these types of adjustments where many others cannot. 

We think the benefits of our orientation and model outweigh some of the limitations. We would encourage others in their communities to try to take on these three components of land trusts, worker co-ops, and then developing solidarity institutions to all reinforce each other. We think it is a potent mix.

Read the rest at NonProfit Quarterly


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