Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Membership Meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 6th

WHAT: Exploring Consensus Process
WHERE: 3906 Wren Road, home of Susan Marie Yoshihara
WHEN: 7:30 pm sharp (please come a little early!)
WHO: Mary Lang

Mary Lang, a resident of Creekside Commons (a successful co-housing project in Courtenay that uses consensus process), has very kindly offered to share her knowledge of this useful communication tool with SPUDS this coming Tuesday evening beginning at 7:30 pm.

A retired school teacher (twenty years working in the inner city of Vancouver), Mary currently works as a counselor. Her labour background included working with Unions and Robert’s Rules. She is excited to share her appreciation for the community building nature of consensus process.

Mary is leaving for Toronto the next morning, and so juggling a busy schedule to accommodate us on short notice. Please come on out to take part in this important information session, and help decide if the proposal by some members to incorporate consensus process into SPUDS is one we might collectively support!

For further information about consensus process, please click on the link to the Seeds of Change website on the right hand side of this page!

Consensus process can be a useful tool for all kinds of groups, so you just might be inspired to take some new ideas to other community-based initiatives you are also involved in. All past, present and future members of SPUDS welcome and encouraged to attend!

From the Seeds of Change website:

Consensus is a decision-making process that works creatively to include all persons making the decision. Instead of simply voting for an item, and having the majority of the group getting their way, the group is committed to finding solutions that everyone can live with. This ensures that everyone's opinions, ideas and reservations are taken into account. But consensus is more than just a compromise. It is a process that can result in surprising and creative solutions - often better than the original suggestions.

Last but not least, yummy baked potatoes and a pot of chili, along with organic apple juice will be on hand for hungry SPUDS members following the harvest this Saturday. Please bring a bowl. See you there, from 10am - noon!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's Harvest Time Again!


On Friday, Sept. 25th at the meeting of the membership held at the Senior's Hall, the harvest date was set for this year’s potato crop. Hope to see you all this coming Saturday, October 3rd, in the Hermitage field, between 10:00 am and 12 noon!

Our alternative date, in case it’s really raining, is the following day, Sunday, October 4th, 10:00 am -12 noon.

Please bring :
-A digging fork (rather than a spade, which can damage the potatoes)
-A large pail or bag for your potatoes (some bags may be provided)
-Hat and water might also be handy

Organic apple juice will be provided. Timing has taken into consideration the desire of some members to attend Recycling earlier in the morning.

Please RSVP if you plan to attend.
If you are unable to make it, please make arrangements for someone to pick-up your share.


A follow-up meeting to Friday's meeting (Sept. 25), is currently scheduled for TUESDAY, OCT. 6th at the home of member Susan Marie Yoshihara at 3906 Wren Road, 7:30 pm.

The main purpose of this meeting will be to learn about consensus process ...we were unable to locate a facilitator for the Sept. 25th membership meeting, and are hoping we will find a non-SPUDS member to come in to introduce the process. Two members independently submitted a proposal to the membership meeting on Sept. 25th that consensus be used as a means of collective decision making by the cooperative, to encourage greater inclusivity, improve communications and build community.

The membership present supported the idea of exploring this proposal further. It should be noted that because of the tight timeline, we may or may not be successful in finding someone skilled in teaching consensus process by the Oct. 6th meeting date set, so please check the SPUDS blogspot at for updates. All members interested are encouraged to attend.

Also,we did not have time to address all items on the agenda at the Sept. 25th meeting, so time permitting, hope to continue where we left off. The minutes from our Sept. 25th meeting will be posted on the blogspot when they become available.

Please call 335-1209 to confirm your attendance at the harvest. A new communications team is taking form, so for now, if you need to change your contact information, have questions or input you would like to make to the co-operative, please contact 335-1209.

Thankyou, and see you Saturday!

Friday, September 25, 2009


Below is a PROPOSED agenda, (submitted by Veronica Timmons) for the next SPUDS Meeting. Please note the change in date. It is now Friday, 25th September (not 24th) at the Denman Activity Centre (Senior's hall). Please let Veronica know if you have other agenda items.

DeNeen Baldwin will be calling everyone to see if they will be attending and to answer questions.

-Veronica Timmons

PS The original memo from Veronica (above) suggests people visit this blogspot, as well as for information gathering before the meeting in regards to how we might choose to fertilize the SPUDS patch. (not all members consider animal manure a desirable option, and various views can hopefully be discussed at the meeting )

(Proposed) Agenda for the


To be held on

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Seniors Lounge, Denman Activity Centre

    1. Welcome and thanks

    1. Introduction of the Facilitator

    1. Introductions - Why I’m a SPUDS member

    4. Report from the Core Group

    a. 2008

    b. 2009 – what worked, what didn’t

    c. Expansion of the crop?

    d. Harvest date

  1. Discussion/decisions
    1. Decision-making and communications process
    2. Policy re use of animal products/green composting

  1. Next year’s Core Group



  1. Other

Memo from member Ron Sakolsky:

Sorry I can't make this important meeting. I could have made the one originally scheduled for September 17, but I have other plans for September 25.

I do have 2 proposals on inclusivity that I would like to have placed on the SPUDS and Veganculture blogspots before the meeting and have read at the meeting itself.

In the future, since we are a small group, can we propose a few alternate meeting dates on the list before choosing a final date so that we can choose the one that is most convenient for all of us.

Consensus decision-making be used as the group process at all membership meetings, preferably with a facilitator skilled at building consensus.

Explanation of the above:
I believe that consensus decision-making is the only feasible way to handle potentially contentious issues among equals in a cooperative setting. Consensus allows us to fully hear what each of us has to say on an issue and to incorporate the best thinking of everyone, rather than just a majority, in the final decision. Only if each of us has the opportunity to have our concerns heard and addressed in the decision can we walk away from the meeting with an end result that we can all live with and can implement without resentment in the future. This is not a DIRA meeting, and we must relate to each other and our issues in a comradely spirit of mutual respect rather than relying on the competitive approach of Roberts Rules or just drifting along as if process doesn't matter. If we can't agree to do the hard but rewarding work of consensus, while we may be able to grow a potato crop, we have failed ourselves and allowed expediency to triumph over cooperation.