SPUDS BASIS OF UNITY Adopted at the April 26, 2010 meeting
1. Community Building
We build community by providing affordable access to land where we grow potatoes in an enjoyable, safe, welcoming environment. We encourage and nourish the cooperative participation of a diverse, intergenerational group of people with various skills, perspectives and physical abilities. Together we celebrate our harvest and hope to eventually share the overflowing bounty with the broader island community.
We source supplies locally and use organic seed, compost and fertilizers whenever possible. We use organic practices that are least harmful to the soil, water, plants, people, animals and the ecosystem as a whole. Domestic animals and animal byproducts are excluded. It is our goal to reduce dependence on fossil fuels over time. We work toward maintaining a membership level commensurate with the yield ability of the field which we seek to maximize. We sustain the membership through regular communications, education and other events. We maintain a harmonious and respectful working relationship with each other, the community and the Dharma Fellowship/Hermitage Board. We maintain financial viability.
3. The Soil
We care for the soil organically: Organic horticultural production focuses on the maintenance of a healthy ecosystem and utilizes natural interactions to promote productivity. Cover cropping and crop rotations are the organic grower‘s tools to build soil fertility, along with applications of composted crop residues and soil amendments to manage nutrients. Herbicides are prohibited in organic production, therefore controls such as mulching and mechanical or hand cultivation is used to manage weeds. To manage insect pests, methods such as the release of natural predators or parasites; trap or repellant crops; and growing systems which foster wild predators are used along with approved pest control products.
Organic growing techniques aim to prevent topsoil erosion, improve soil fertility, protect groundwater resources, and conserve energy. While the use of certified organic seed and transplants is required when available, non-genetically modified and non-treated seeds and transplants are allowed if certified organic sources are not readily available.
We encourage members to learn about organic growing, potato growing, how cooperatives operate and to share skills. We track our activities and their outcomes through record keeping and reporting
5. Group Process
We strive for equality and inclusivity by sharing responsibilities and practicing power-with (rather than power-over) in our deliberations, and actions. We use a consensus decision making process. Before speaking we consider: Are these words true? Are they necessary for me to say now? Are they kind?
6. Financial Ethics
We are a non-commercial, non-profit endeavour. Any revenue will be reinvested in the activities of the collective.