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April 2008

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atumnnn in nameyourcow

As to Money...

I propose that for the first two years or so (and we will hold a conference on the matter at the end of the two years or whenever someone feels it is necessary to do so to determine if things are able to be changed yet) all of the earned funds from outside jobs gleaned from members must be contributed to a central pot. This central pot will be spent on only what the community deams to be essential items, and a conference will be held to determine how much money will be spent where. Someone should be in charge of keeping track of books and things to be presented in front of the community conference. I further propose that this money be placed in a multiple lock box, where everyone has a key and the box cannot be opened unless everyone unlocks their paticular lock with their paticular key. 

After that, a percentage of funds will be determined that is needed for a nest egg, seeds, further construction when needed, and emergency food supplies both of the human and animal variety; the rest of their funds can go towards whatever they choose for them to go towards, and/or they may choose to quit their jobs and devote all of their time to the farm

As to the issue of needing to leave the community for whatever reason, I feel that the person needs to have stayed there for at least a year and have given at least a month's warning to be entitled to any kind of monetary reimbursement. I propose 3,000 dollars to help get them started on their new life, but this would be fully dependent upon available funds (ie the community cannot be caused to fail because one person wants their 3,000 bucks) and a meeting will be held upon their notice discussing what the community can afford to give, and what the person needs depending on circumstances.

Rachel and I discussed the possibility of, after we are up and running (after the two years), allowing internships or possibly just students needing affordable housing while going to school to contribute labor towards free room and board. All violators of set expectations will be kicked out immediately. Let me just stress the importance of beginning a farm in a university community, since that will allow us to be in the boondocks for land, but not be completely disconnected from everybody. We would still have parks, activity centers, community centers, clubs, theater, etc. to go to, not to mention libraries for internet access and resources, and the agricultural department at the college for emergency questions. In fact, I would even go so far as encouraging contributing to local charities to foster good feelings towards the commune within the greater community. 

Chores are important. Everyone, obviously will be expected to contribute in the large chores (harvesting, feeding animals, caring for plants, caring for the house, building, etc.) but for the little ones such as taking out the trash where it is both impossible and ridiculous to expect five people to help carry it out, there should be chore chart/wheel that everyone agrees upon, so that nobody gets stuck one chore (cooking, dishes, bathrooms, etc.) ALL of the time. If everyone agrees on it, and it is a regular and fair rotation, there should be no problems with it. 

Education is the single-most important thing to our community. Everyone should have a general knowledge about everything that the community endeavors to do for both practical reasons (someone leaving the community, more hands to help) and to avoid any kind of resentment between members through both snobby feelings of superiority and/or feeling like you are being taken advantage of. That being said, there should be regent expert for everything. For example, I am going into livestock veterinary, and will have my degree and interning on farms before we start this up, and so I will be the "go-to-gal" for livestock in case anything comes up, at least when it comes to health issues, people with practical farm experience may be more informed than me on many aspects of it. Life experience is much more valuable than book experience. That just brings up the point that there can be multiple experts on one thing within the community. 

Any thoughts or additions?


1. I understand where you're coming from on the multiple-lock box thing--and it's definitely a good idea; it makes sense and it's fair. But to be honest, it's a little bit Harry Potter. Also, depending on how many people we have, it's kind of rediculous, if we have 20 people, or we keep growing, and more and more people need to get new keys, and we keep adding locks to the box...
Lol this is one of those particulars that should be ironed out, but something along these lines would be great (and necessary).

2. $3000 seems a -bit- steep, but we'll cross that road when we get to it.

3. Regarding education: everyone should go through manditory training, I think. Not like, sit down for 3 hours an night and learn everything all at once. But definitely there should be a schooling process, to learn things like first aid, general farm management, business aspects. But also (because we did this in Chemistry today), everyone should know how to arrange a vegetarian/vegan meal with complete amino acids. I think that's key, not only in being able to read a cook book, but to be able to come up with it on your own, and also so you kind of know what you're doing, and how things work, so everyone is less apt to be unhealthy. This seems to be rare in most vegetarian/vegan lifestyles (and this is one reason why I'm holding off converting presently--until I learn what foods together have what amino acids), but it's absolutely vital to know...

Other than that, it looks great.

Oh, also education: I think once we're up and running and have a fairly good standing within the community (our own and the larger community), and we're stable, one of my personal goals would be to educate people on communal living. Not necessarily get them to come to our commune, because it's kind of like finding a church that fits your own beliefs. But we should educate people in some way about this thing, and how they could start their own, and that sort of thing.

And I'll let you know more later, but now I need to drive Leah away into the woods :)
Lol, yeah, I originally planned the box with three locks with you me and jess holding a key, but then I reconsidered thinking that maybe that wasn't paticularly fair to the other members putting their money into it.

Well, maybe more like 2000, Americorps does like 1850 or something from a year long commitment, so maybe something like that would work, I was just trying to put it into a ten years from now perspective.

Mandatory is kind of an interesting concept in and of itself for a commune... Lol, but I can see what you're saying. Perhaps that could be part of the weekly meetings? The regent experts could come up and discuss their topic, present basic knowledge, and ask for questions and other imput, kind of like a seminar of sorts. Also, as for the essential amino acid bit, while that's important, we'll still be eating/drinking dairy and having a highly varied diet, which is the most important part. At the same time, I suppose it could be useful to teach some handy combos that are good to keep in mind while cooking the group meals. At the same time, the main hardship for vegetarians (not vegans) is getting things like fiber, iron and calcium, not so much protein. However, General nutrition is a must since keeping people at the prime of their health will cut down on needed medical bills and emergencies by like a million and a half.

I agree with you on the last aspect completely, which is why I brought up internships. Perhaps, once we get started we can have daily/week-long/three month long volunteers and interns. All the more reason to raise our social standing in the community through participating in community service. But I don't agree with making it mandatory...
Yeah, considering it's probably going to be at least 10 years (probably more like 15 by the time we get to the point of reimbursing people), so you're right... Again: something that can be hammered out more finely in 10 years when we get to this point.

Yeah, malnutrition = bad.

And... It's really not actually as important as I said it was. I was excited. But ... a varied diet alone won't get you what you need, health-wise. It's a good start, but I think it'd be a good idea to have people actually know what they're doing/eating and why (not only amino acids, but I literally got home from chemistry and read your message and my lecture was a-poundin' at my fingertips. It was amazing).

I mean, nobody really needs a degree in dietary sciences, but... I dunno. It just seems like it'd be helpful.

Manditory. Right. Well, like we were saying, everyone -needs- to know first aid. Everyone needs to know how things are set up, and how we're balancing the books, how we are going to be doing this and that... Manditory is a bit of an oxymoron, yes, but at the same time, people need to know this stuff whether it's Just In Case or because it's something really important.

Anyway... awesome website I just found: tagaloglang.com

Very helpful :)
The single most important thing that any person, vegetarian or otherwise, can do for their diet, is to eat a varied diet filled with leafy greens and fruits. A general rule of thumb is to eat your rainbow. Being a healthy vegetarian that actually cooks a varied diet is just about the easiest health step that you can take. I agree that it might be Helpful to some people, but I don't find it Essential. It might be essential on the commune because of the vast diversity of people with their pickiness factors hindering nutrition and whatnot, but as for you and I going vegetarian, there is pretty much no risk of protein defiency in paticular. In general, eating a truly varied diet Will get you what you need, that's the nature of a varied diet. That's why animals can be so healthy and not know a thing about amino acids and vitamins... ;)
Or instinct, but that's another debate.
lol, but instinct only helps them to pick the best fruit on the tree. We have urges for what our body needs to, I can physically feel it when I need protein. ;)
Lol, yeah, I originally planned the box with three locks with you me and jess holding a key, but then I reconsidered thinking that maybe that wasn't paticularly fair to the other members putting their money into it.

Hee hee, it sounds like a french monarchy there... :-P

We have urges for what our body needs to, I can physically feel it when I need protein. ;)

I feel the same way when I see a fishie and I'm really hungry. :-P j/k, I never waste a fish, I'm really against wastefulness no matter what your eating stance. Heck, I'll eat fish brains and eye balls if you guys made me.