Our gardens are off to sleep beneath fresh mulch, and attentions turn inward to the home hearth and plans for further cultivation within and beyond. Winter imposes a very different 'value proposition' in amidst our objectives and routines. Priorities and motivations shift, temporarily, bringing the social into focus above the ecological - cold, harsh weather draws us together in deep recognition of interdependence.
There is time to reflect, strategize, and celebrate. This onset of Autumn is ripe harvest: collective efforts amongst VEDA-kins have born fruit over summer run, but "non-perishable" bounties are slim...alas, we are a long term proposition, with a lot of experimental learning yet to go.
Much of the work of striking roots here has been for shared vitality - for the entire region. While our model seeks to balance that enduring wealth with some immediate return and sustenance to all participants, it's to be expected that insufficient seasons shall pass, during establishment. We're new to this region, and kind of anathema to cultural norms. Not antithetical, mind you: simply uncalculable within current maths. Such is the substrate for innovation.
We're aiming high, far, and wide, with feet firmly on the ground. Milestones in sight now:
1) locating secure base(s) of operation
2) building productive relationships with peers and land stewards
2) demonstrated value creation for surrounding community
3) soliciting meaningful rewards and donations
4) public commons access rights
5) green tech innovation
6) shareable pattern sets
Progress this year includes:
gardening. Always a great starting point! Got to plant, tend, and savor a few good patches of annuals.
landscape art. Enjoyed constructing and testing a few modest sculptural installations.
green tech - timberframe, biochar
villaging - green mead farm dev plan
media - blog, photos, maps
mapping - crowdmap, metamaps
infrastructures - greenweavers
event - see next post!
Shortcomings aka failures? We fell short in securing stable access rights agreement to land base or work space, and in producing marketable goods. The other disappointment was in formalizing and recruiting membership to the crew. Lots of good 'feeler' conversations, but in light of other shortfalls (lack of home base and revenues) there was no noticeable bump in productive numbers within the collective project frame this season. That is a bummer, and an incentive to get our identity and presence ironed and shined for show!
So, what is up next for experimental collaborative Permaculture troupe? We will be hibernating, it appears! Following a good season of work, there's no stable indoor activity left to carry on from here, so we go to bed and reset. Many ripe cohorts and schemata are in reach tho....
Up top of the stack is our strategic planning and project roadmap - the document that ties vision to action, with conscientious awareness of context and prospect.
Team/culture building received somewhat short shrift this season, mainly due to lack of dedicated prospects as mentioned above. However, part of the process of magnetizing good contribution from peers is in better articulating the core ethos, vision, spirit, and craft of the collective. So, that is unfolding! See blog and wiki.
Gift exchange community - a big part of our larger aims for culture change, setting the tone for a culture of contribution and generosity based in common affinities and demonstrated success. Slow going, but this is continually embodied and documented in the overt actions of VEDA Co.
Access rights to regional stewardship properties is a huge goal for the Co., and we made some headway here. Several sites afford us the privilege of occasional use, although nothing is cast into legal right-of-way as of yet. We have been able to hold public gatherings at a few locations, and are looking in to the legal waivers and/or insurance policies to allow this more readily at other properties.
An online reputation/merit system is big for our ultimate scalability and adaptation to larger community work space. Open collaboration amongst members provides for varied result and feedback, all of which should be accounted within some conventional framework for both internal and external reference. This is essential for non-hierarchically-constrained brand credibility.
Retrospecting on the above, what key breakthroughs will set us up for stronger seasons ahead?
Tech & Equip
Familiar web tech
Some time soon, we'd like to maintain a public dashboard of actions and flows - a 'heads-up display' for anyone to track and interact with. Currently, we're left with the rudiments of social media and slim scraps of spare time with which to capture our story.
It's nice to think we're not alone in holding this vision and confronting these challenges. In fact there is a movement afoot to demonstrate and formalize the ideas of "open value network" peer production in much the same mode as we are currently working. It's a rich area for experimentation - little is yet defined or well demonstrated. We are working with the early drafts of new cultural paradigm; one that may be configured for diverse circumstance and value system, and which uplifts the collective intelligence of group organisms for enduring wealth and wisdom.
This takes us back to the issue of formative docs, guiding vision, measures of value, tools for synchronicity, mechanisms for trust, and the legal and financial bridgework to enable much higher performance. And with that, we bed down for recharge - open to the abundant energies for growth and change.