Monday, June 25, 2018

Shout-out to Friends who are interested in the Plans

Hi everybody!!!  What a journey we are on.  The spiritual path... goes onwards...
Seeking to find community, or cooperative?  Or both, and more.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Maybrook Lodge meeting facilitator Dagen Julty

There was a meeting facilitated by Dagen on Sunday June 17, 2018.  Michelle had requested at the start of the meeting for permission to video-document the meeting.  Ahgamen approved of this, as did Dagan.  However, Kevin, Tanyth, Richard, Purmilla, and others rejected the proposal and opted for their secrecy.  They kept the meeting a secret, although they said note-taking was allowed. Therefore the meeting has no documentation other than written notes, even though it was offered and made possible to be filmed/video.

There may be reasons as to why the people who have self-appointed themselves as the rulers of the place, do not want to be filmed.  What could those reasons be?  Hiding something?  Hiding their actions?  Their words?  Their inconsistencies?  There is no transparency at this place which claims to be a community of democracy.  Without transparency and documentation any social experiment will fail.

As a remedy for this apparent discrepancy, this blog had been established and continues with a mission to document what is really going-on with transparency and honesty.  That's the only thing that can be relied-upon and trusted.

For everyone who was a witness and participant at the meeting can attest to what was said and done, especially the sharp-minded facilitator, Dagan.  At the outset of the meeting, he stated that "everybody is wanting to see what will happen with this community" referring to all the interested people in the surrounding region.  Dagan was describing the many people who he is connected with, whom have an interest and a "hunger for community".  Kevin quickly remarked that it wasn't true and couldn't be of any interest.  Kevin apparently thinks that it's a secret and nobody knows about the community and project.  But after awhile of convincing, Kevin seemed to agree that maybe there was far-flung interest in what was going-on and whether it would succeed.

(to be con't.)

At the meeting, Little Bear (Alex) threatens Ahgamen and his family.  He loudly declares that he thinks Ahgamen is evil and is "Twelve Tribes"!  What does it all mean?

General Purpose of this blog/website

Note about the General scope of this blog.
This is about cooperatives and how they form.  We partake of this educational exploration by studying our own direct case-studies and those of others.    E.g. Solidarity Farm-forming
It is important to study the process of forming and developing cooperatives, in order to better promote the utilization of cooperatives. 

Solidarity Farm rejects and kicks out Haum

One may ask why did Solidarity Farm kick out Haum?  He was invited and he arrived ready for work.  The place needs plenty of workers.  Yet Haum was told to pack up and get out.  Haum writes a letter to the Solidarity Farm representatives:

Hello Kevin and Taniff, when I first got there I felt like I was not welcome. My friend Agga came under attack before I got in the front door. You claimed there were red flags, looked like he was a possible loose cannon. You stated He was not working and acted as if he was the authority. Also, there were accusations that he was stealing something. Also, you stated he brought me there under the false pretense that I was allowed to stay there when It was already decided that it was only a visit. There was also a dispute with people knowing agga's business with Michelle that lead to an uproar. You also claimed that Agga needed to discuss with you how people were to come there on the coop project. To me this was way too much confusion at the outset. 
When I went to get my bags it seems to me that it was not clarified how I was to be handled. As I approached you we had a brief discussion on my intentions. You stated, I told you to leave and then you decide to set up tent. That it when you stated to me that did I think it was weird that I show up and think I can stay. I agreed that you were thinking it was weird, however, I was working under the authority that Michelle and Agga thought that there was not a problem with it because they have regularly invited newcomers. 
You then stated to me "is Agga controlling you." I let you know I only know what I was told and furthermore, off the record, I rely on his guidance as well as everybody elses until I got situated and that never happened. 
At the Monday meeting, which was somewhat heated at times and did not leave me with a good impression of any type of stability at the location, yes, it was brought to my attention that I could stay. However, there were many problems that needed to be clarified and I highlighted some of them with you and Taniff after the meeting. The most important concern that I have is that Agga, Michelle, Kevin and Taniff discuss in private how people will be brought to this Coop. I strongly suggest that it is brought before the owner so there is no more confusion on the subject matter. You did state that I would possibly be welcome in the future. The only concern that I have is where will I stay. I can camp in my tent.
In the mean time I know everyone will begin working on concerns in a matter that is appropriate for the entire group. Keep me informed on the progress so everyone can make a better decision in the future for me as well as everyone else who decides to go there. There is no blame here and possibly I will see everyone in the future again. Good Bye for now and my apologies for any confusion.


Maybrook Lodge Solidarity Farm Kerhonkson NY

The title of the post is used because they keep insisting on using these terms.  Although it is clear that "Maybrook Lodge" is a defunct business.  Maybrook Lodge was filed as business by the May family a long time ago.  They are all gone now and sold the property.

Solidarity Farm is a name for a new garden section of the property, not a legal entity, not as of yet. And they keep referring to the locality as Kerhonkson, although it is closer to Accord, NY.  Maybe it is served by the Kerhonkson postal office, not the Accord postal office. But if you look at the map it is closer to Accord town. 

The continued use of the name verges on fraudulent.  What is actually going on to bring the project and business up to date, and making it current?  Nothing is going on, just more of the perpetual sloppiness.  One month ago I asked that the sign be removed, from the old business entity which has been out-of-business for the many of years.  Why? Because it is sending out a message to those that see it, business is open as usual.  It will continue to bring in random people who are seeking lodging, YET there is no lodging.

It is one of the many reasons as to why I feel this place is being mismanaged and neglected.  If NEFA wants to run a Maybrook Lodge then they need to file the business name. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Update Overview of the past week

Solidarity Farm panorama mid-May 2018
Reality, but not so glamorous! There had been the large dumpster/roll-off garbage container on the property for the past several weeks.  It had been filled with lots of debris and reject items by the sweat equity of many community workers.  It has since been removed prior to this week, and seemingly returned empty.  We cannot seem to get rid of it!  Obviously, it will be filled again, with much more debris and refuse from the ongoing projects.

New workers are to be mentioned and acknowledged: Jake, a new visitor, who is working with Little Bear and Carey; Dagan was a visitor; Haum, a visitor and guest of Michelle and Ahgamen; and others (to be added here later).

The ownership/holding company has moved forward to renovate the large residential house, used to be called "The Lodge".  Dave and Adonis and others have worked on it, being paid crew of Dominick.

The project of the lead remediation has been going-on with the main hall/barn.  This was worked on by Andre, Pete, and Mighty (sp?). 

There has been work on the garden areas, from the largest section which is behind the farm-worker housing, to the front garden, to the gardens around the parking lot and up to the cottage of Michelle and Ahgamen.  The plants are definitely growing.  There is irrigation/watering system added by Kevin.

Meeting announced

A tentative meeting has been planned for next Tuesday, June 19, 2018, which will be facilitated by Dagan of the regional community (not yet of our local, land-based resident community - it should be specified).  Dagan first visited on Wednesday June 13. He has been living in the region for many years and has a lot of experience with intentional community.  He is also skilled at being a mediator.  In that sense, there is an aspect to the meeting with Dagan that will be a mediation between Kevin and additional leadership/management.

The topics of the meeting will be:  community living, developing the cooperative, initiating new members, conflict resolution, privacy, integrity, family, relationships, and improving communication within the local community (among other topics).  Anybody with an interest in this community and developing the future cooperative is invited to attend.

Ahgamen hopes that all attendees will be patient and polite and respectful during the meeting.  The time and exact schedule is TBA.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Problem "is" the Solution

The permaculture principle of turning problems into solutions goes hand in hand with one of the main ideas at the core of permaculture: working with nature rather than against it.

[article snipped from PermacultureNews]
Probably one of Bill Mollison’s most often-quoted phrases is:  Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple. 

This view is woven throughout the permaculture principles, however people interpret them, especially in Mollison’s original design principle, “Turn Problems Into Solutions”

A problem is usually defined as the opposite of a solution, so how can it change so drastically?
Firstly, it seems important to understand than in order to ‘turn a problem into a solution’, we do not have to physically change the problem. The change can be achieved through our use of language and through our widening of perspective. Unless we can take away the power of the problem by changing how we talk about it, and transcend the problem by accepting it as part of a wider picture, then it may well be difficult to solve it. Once we do these two things, however, it can open our imaginations and ability to create effective solutions.
When we describe something as a problem we are giving it the power to be a problem with our words and intentions, a phenomenon which is increasingly recognized in the world of psychotherapy (see for example 3). However, if we can expand our perspective and look at the problem another way, it is usually possible to see how the thing – whatever it is – can in fact be in some way beneficial for us. Even if something feels like a powerfully negative event or situation, it can be seen, from a purely psychological point of view, as an invitation. This has been being explored across many disciplines in a number of ways, for example in the fields of transpersonal psychology and psychosynthesis (3, 4). This widening of perception can be applied to any problem, large or small, from purely internal psychological crises to conflicts between people, or between humans and nature, or between entire countries or states. As examples of the latter we can look at the work being done by people such as John-Paul Lederach (see for example 5) and Johan Galtung (see for example 6), who work to help people who are supposedly fighting to create imaginative solutions to their problem, as well as in Marshall Rosenberg’s work with Non-Violent Communication (7). Many traditional cultures and ancient philosophies also advocate this way of looking at the world, and it has been written about by many Western thinkers such as Taoism-inspired Ursula K. LeGuin:
“Only in silence, the word:
Only in darkness, light
Only in dying, life…”
We cannot have one without the other and once we accept this, it can become much easier to accept any problem which comes our way as merely the counterpart to a beautiful solution.
(end snip)
(snipped from TropicalPermaculture website)

Permaculture Principles IV:  Turn Problems into Solutions

"You don't have a snail problem, you have a duck deficiency!"

That is this permaculture principle in a nutshell, summed up in one of Bill Mollison's most popular quotes.
If you see yourself confronted with a perceived problem, why not try and look at the situation from a different angle? Is there any way to use it to your advantage?
A common example for this permaculture principle, one that you will find cited in many permaculture books, is that low lying spot at the bottom end of your garden. You know, the spot that's always muddy, where the water just won't drain away and you just can't get the lawn grass to grow...
You have the perfect location for a pond, or a bog garden with swamp plants. Thought about growing watercress, water chestnuts, or kangkong (a tropical water spinach)? How about iris, primulas and lilies? Many flowers are suited to boggy spots. The ducks you are getting for eggs and to clean up your snails will love it, too.

The category and position of Haum, guest of Michelle and Ahgamen

As a continuation of the diagram exploration, example #7 is given of Haum, a guest from June 10 to June 11.

Haum was invited and vetted by Michelle and Ahgamen because of the obvious and stated need for more workers.  He did arrive into the area and was given transportation by Ahgamen, after using the train and bus.
Haum and Ahgamen and then Michelle were informed by Kevin that there is no paid work for any other laborers, there is no process yet there needs to be a process for visitors and guests and applicants/new members.  Prior to that date, June 10, there was no defined call for process or the urgency that there must be a process.  In fact, when others were asked in regards to Mervyn or Katie, for example, there was some discussion and only a rudimentary informal process.
Now there is a definite call for process to be in effect, as of June 10 and this website contains the efforts and work upon that necessary function of the community, such that it will be established and become a legal cooperative.
Because of the disagreement, Haum had been asked to pack up his tent and to leave by Kevin.  Haum was in the camping area, under development, on the eastside of the land.  Therefore Haum informed Michelle and Ahgamen that he would have to depart, needing a ride to transportation/trains, to leave the area.  Ahgamen did coordinate a plan of exit for Haum.  This is unfortunate because he (and two others on the way) were ready and willing to become full-time workers at the community, the place, and the cooperative-forming.  Ahgamen figured out how to help Haum to leave but not before several things happened, one of which was a meeting for communication and status of the community.

During the meeting on June 11 afternoon, with Tanyth and Kevin facilitating and about 10 community in attendance, Haum was asked about his intentions.  He was also asked about background, including his history with children and possible molestation.  Ahgamen stated that this was a ridiculous approach, because nobody else was confronted in that way for crimes or any other past personal information.  It seems that the status of Haum is that he was a guest with mixed reception, departing in good-standing with possible future membership. 
This points to the need for a fair and transparent and legally-based background check and vetting process and deciding who is in the department for responsible safe-keeping of this personal information.  There should be an office/admin department for this process/function of the community.  If there is not, it will probably lead to additional and ongoing confusion. 

(IMO) It's a problem with a solution.  I'm asking that all present community members, whether resident or not, shall be inquired of their background in a similar line of questioning for info, retroactively.  Ahgamen is suggesting that there be a formalized on-paper method of doing so.  Ahgamen is suggesting that there be a physical office for admin of this function to be created ASAP.  Ahgamen is volunteering to help with the work and effort and responsibility of this department for the community and the cooperative-forming.  Ahgamen is thinking that this is a priority before any additional work is conducted and any progress on the cooperative is made, this will be a major component in the evolution of the whole project.

All that second the motion, say "Aye".

If this is not agreed upon, then it would seem that Ahgamen's incentive to help with the additional labor requirements was wasted.  If this is not agreed upon and dealt-with by group consensus, then it remains that there is no process and that there is discrimination going-on.  No one else was treated in the manner that Haum was treated.  Ahgamen finds that the community could improve and function more effectively and successfully if this issue is resolved.

Haum is thankful to the community for his experience, although he stated he does not want to return in the near future.  He disagrees with the community's methods of interacting with guests and he has his previous organic farming community that he can resume with.  The three people, including himself, who would be new members are now on-hold and delayed as a result.

Overall, this can be used as a test-case.  There is a lot to be learned.

What are the categories that exist in the community, for codification in the cooperative by-laws

What are the categories that exist in the community, for codification in the cooperative by-laws?   These are all or most of the categories and subdivisions which do exist in and of the community; as of this initial review currently, circa June 2018, by Ahgamen.
By using the three columns, we can identify the status of each individual according to three aspects of interaction with the community.  By using the three or four rows, we can identify the status according to application, acceptance by group consensus.  Each and every individual will belong to multiple areas, at least one in the columns and at least one in the rows.  This is not a linear or one-dimensional perspective on our experiences; this is a multi-dimensional analysis, giving us a bigger picture of all the interactions and possibilities.

Let's take several specific individuals and find their position by using the diagram.
For example, Kevin S.:
Community category of Kevin S.
In the above diagram, the colourized areas designate what type is this individual.  Kevin is according to the first column: a resident, full-time.  He is in the second column: a worker, full-time.  He is also being paid and has decision-making with the funding monies.

Example #2, Nadette:
Example #3, Dominick:
Example #4, Valeria:

Example #5, Michelle:
Example #6, Katie:
There is a need for more exploration.  These are rough diagrams for informational purposes only.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Meeting was facilitated by Tanyth and Kevin

There was a meeting conducted on Sunday afternoon.  It raised some issues and seeks to discussion on shared values of the community and how it will help the cooperative being formed.

Nature at the Solidarity Farm in Accord

Dragonfly visits the place

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Question raised: Persons Background check?

Background checks is a big issue, and a loaded issue, I feel.  It's the first time it was mentioned today by Kevin.  It is on the table therefore and should be addressed, let's discuss.

I think background checking would have to be done fairly and equally for all persons connected to the cooperative from now into the future, if it is going to begin at all.

I think before deciding that we should do such a thing, who is the person within the group who is going to be priivy to the information, the data?  What can this person(s) do with the information?  What are their responsibilities?

It's a lot of work to make these decisions.  It's then going to be a lot of work to start gathering the info and what to do with it.

I think initially, to prevent all this tedious, mainstream type of approach, we could instead formulate a questionnaire for all members and new persons in the future.  This questionnaire would be voluntarily submitted and the formal record shall be kept in a cooperative admin. office (which does not exist as of yet).

What questions would we like to include in this personal questionnaire and why?

I can think of question or a section: personal referrences.

The difficulty with all of this, is that we are talking about being a full-fledged company, with a human resources personnel department.  If this is done, then it has to be staffed, and those employees will have to be accountable by state and federal guidelines.  Do we really need to devote time to this?   Is it defeating the purpose of being a heart-centered, intuitive group that can operate at a higher level of consciousness?

Vetting Process for membership, etc.

Some of my thoughts currently, as I've been asked to offer my opinion on this needed element for the Cooperative:

Visitor and Guest and New Membership to Cooperative - Vetting Process

(after such date if and when approved by consensus, these rules should be implemented through signing by all full, founding members and circulated to those interested, who are potentially visitors, guests and future members)

VISITORS:  Wherever the cooperative at the Solidarity Farm and other locations does function, visitors can be allowed entry during posted, designated hours.  Visitors are defined as any human person(s) who arrive unnannounced, finding the cooperative ramdomly or by other means of knowledge, and who have not been invited nor have acquaintance with anybody in the cooperative.  Visitors are able to be supervised during their short visit by a member operating as public facilitator. The visitor must sign the guest log and provide ID.  The facilitating member shall be responsible towards the visitor(s) and may provide information, goods, or services as the cooperative is formally offering. This member also has the power to expel the visitor for any unfavorable interactions, whether it be verbal or physical, wherefore that member is responsible for justifying the implementation of such extreme precautions. A formal record must be recorded of any visitor incidences, whether it be a favorable visit or an expulsion.

GUESTS:  Full members of the cooperative shall be able to host their guests within the cooperative, by providing a one day notice to the office of space management.  The member who is hosting shall be responsible for the guest's action and conduct.  The guest shall be able to remain within the cooperative for up to 6 days or until such a time that there is a need to make room for other members, by vacating the limited accomodations/rooms.  The exception is campers who are in the open fields or forests, in that these guests are not occupying any of the limited indoor spaces.  Upon the completion of the 6th day the guest agrees to finish their stay and depart on good terms, or request an extension for reasons of gaining membership. At any such time, during the stay of the guest, that a member is disturbed by their presence, that member must lodge a formal complaint to space management and there will be a decision amongst a minimum of three full members to discipline the guest or implement their expulsion, thereby overriding the initial host.  Thereafter, a formal record of such incidence will be presented to the entire cooperative and justification should be provided.  If justified, the host will incur a strike against their membership-standing, because of their guest. If during the time of discipline and requesting their departure, if the disagreement escalates, there can be a decision by at least two full members to call upon a civil-assist involving law enforcement officers, but only as a last desperate measure.  It is to be emphasized that the involvement of outside authority is not the modus operandis of the cooperative nor of any sustainable community.  As a group, the cooperative shall empower itself with soverignty and the abilty to create solutions internally.  Obviously, in any unforseen violent situation, the criminal force should be dealt with immediately.  This entire process will require training of the full members on how to deal with issues effectively and only when necessary.  Preventative measures will be used first and foremost. The promotion, circulation and study of our community's shared values is required and shall be continuously available.

NEW MEMBERS:  Full members in good standing shall be able to initiate new membership into the expanding cooperative-population.  The vetting process for each new member shall be either an initial guest-stay or bypassing that status and the individual shall start a new membership induction.  They may begin by expressing a sincere interest to the group, lodged formally into the record book.  This will be sponsored by at least one full member in good standing and another member who shall second the motion.  The new person will state three goals wherein they can express/prove their intentions to belong within the cooperative harmoniously and in a positive manner.  The sponsoring member shall be responsible and supervising the new person during the entire trial period.  Their trial period shall be from two weeks minimum and up to four weeks (not longer), when they will be approved and initiated as a new member, by unanimous consensus of the other members. The new person, intending to become a new member is under the same restrictions as the GUEST category. 




(to be continued)

please give feedback...

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Steering Committee for Establishing the COOPERATIVE

The current status of the cooperative is that it's forming.  We are in a formative phase or it's embryonic.  We are holding a basic, rough idea and working model of the cooperative, yes.  But it is neither developed nor specified enough to be an actual cooperative.  It needs to be developed and sharpened and formed to a more clear and concise structure, in order to be truly established.  So as of this date, 2018 June 6, the cooperative is still in the process of being born and it will not be born until we do lots of work, mental effort is required. 

How are we going to create the cooperative in a meaningful and tangible way?  What is the purpose of the cooperative and what will it do, what will members do within it?  How will the cooperative operate, the protocols, the functions, and the rules and regulations?

Definition from wiki pedia:  Steering Committee
A steering committee is a body within an enterprise that supports the steering of its actions. Its main concern is making strategic decisions concerning future realization of the enterprise’s investment projects. It makes decisions about which of the presented projects will be realized, and which will not. It is responsible for the management and monitoring of a long-term project, which means that it controls the realization of the project at the strategic level, verifies the project’s coherence with established aims, and keeps established frames such as range, costs and deadlines. Should any changes in the project happen, they must be first presented and accepted by a member of the steering committee. Only in the case of acceptance are the changes introduced to the project. The steering committee assesses and accepts the changes by means of consensus. It deals also with coordination and coherence with other realized projects. The steering committee creates working groups and chooses experts, with whom the enterprise will work to realize the project. The manager of a project is accountable for a project in front of the committee.
How long will it take for the steering committee to actually codify the cooperative?  That depends on who is doing the work and what communication is going on.  It could go at a slow pace or the pace could be quickened if we wish.  We decide.  It could take 6 months or take a year!  It could take a week, or a month!  Let's find out.  Can we set a deadline?  To give some sort of schedule and to set the pace, a goal to accomplish this within a set amount of time.  Do we not need this cooperative as soon as possible?  Reasons for this, in a separate post.

Let's use this post as the thread for comments and work of the steering committe.  I can think of no better function for it...........

What Is the Function of a Steering Committee?

Quick Answer

The function of a steering committee is to provide support, advocacy and enablement for the projects which they oversee. A steering committee is not designed to actually manage or run a project, and should be kept from doing so. Rather, the steering committee should facilitate the project manager's ability to plan and direct a given project, giving advice and support along the way.

Full Answer

Steering committees function best when the scope of their responsibilities and purposes are clearly defined. They often function as a decision-making body, determining the budgets, time lines and personnel for the projects they oversee. A steering committee should not be loaded up with members who are not needed; instead, every member on the committee should have a specific function tied to oversight, recording of decisions, budgeting or other specific skills needed depending on the project.
At times, steering committees have been known to get too involved with the projects they are supposed to be providing oversight for, and they begin to take an overly active role in the management of the project. When this occurs, someone on or off the committee must remind the steering committee of its advisory role in the project, directing the focus back onto the project itself and what needs to be done to bring it to a successful conclusion.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Shout-out to Bilbo over at the community where he resides

This is a shout-out to Bilbo, member of another community on the continent, which also incorporates agriculture in its purposes.  I should know, because I brought him there and resurrected the farming at the wonderful garden spot along Bear Creek.  This is something to share one day around a campfire.  Michelle, Heyvazealia, can also tell all about it.  That garden and land is an important place to myself, Ahgamen, and Heyvazealia and Arajah, as well as Zenairoh.  Why?  Because he was BORN there.

Bilbo and I caught up on life stories and pertinent info over a phone conversation on 2018, June 1.  We had been playing phone-tag for a few months since the Winter.  You know how that is with phone tag players, we just love to waste time pressing those buttons as we fry our brain cells!

Anyhow, Bilbo has an open invite from me to come visit and meet all the other folks in this new cooperative/community in formation. Bilbo, thanks for keeping track of things in my other stepping stone locations, as you are aware of the longterm goals, networking and forming an expansive tribe.

About Ahgamen and why I created this virtual place for discussion on the cooperative

I'm Ahgamen Keyboa, an individual who intends to be a member of the cooperative, intending to fit harmoniously into the group. I've shown interest in it, I'm participating and doing "sweat equity". Although, Ahgamen is not perfect and is a work in progress.  I am learning and trying new things.  it's an experiment and this is the real life. this is revolution. this is truth.  (facts: my legal name is Peter Tasciotti, I was born in New York state, in the weeks before the Summer of Love) I am a lover, not a fighter. About 3 years old.

Ahgamen is a name for why a man went on a spiritual quest, it's for living life more fully, to find the meaning of it all.  I happened to link up with the group and the land by a set of circumstances, as I guess each of us has their own story.  The specifics are not as important as the idealogical principles of continuing this association.  I find myself in an interesting flow of experiences.  Here is a place to live. With others, as neighbors, as co-workers in solidarity. Here is a challenging prospect, filled with many other people who are joing together for a reason.  and we are wanting to do something great together. Or is it good?  Is it fair?  Is it justice?  Is it urgent? Is it peaceful?  Is it sustainable?  Is it revolutionary?  Is it practical?  I believe it's ultimately about being more spiritually aware of the self and everything surrounding us in the world.  Slowly, gradually.

As part of all this, the challenging prospect is the fact that many indviduals are already meeting here at this geographical place.  The talking is happening, but also the doing. We are also joining within this virtual concept.  It's a concept of community, of cooperative, of Solidarity Farm.  There a wealth of information around this idea, an ongoing flow of communication.  But I was thinking that a stream of emails was not sufficient.  Email is good for peer to peer correspondence and it is private, secret, used on a need-to-know basis.  Yet where is the transparency?  Where is the public record?  Where can we have a more open, shared source of info?

I am offering this as a tool for our discussions.  I know there is a pre-existing face b o o k.  This could then be an alternative, additional source.  This is a sort of forum. I'm just going to do this and invite others to participate, if it seems useful.  I will adminster the info herein.  I don't know how active this will become or how long it will be of any active use.  I can predict that it will decrease in its usefulness after awhile, but it can remain online for any newbies that come along later, wanting to study the historical background of the movement.

This has been kind of an intro to the blog website.  Thanks for reading and feel free to join the discussion.

Attorney for legal needs of cooperative formation

The attorney has been added to the players who are involved with creating this movement.  Her name is Valeria Gheorghiu and she facilitated a launch meeting on Sunday afternoon, 27th May 2018.  There were about 15 attendees, with Nadette doing secretarial function.  The particulars and essence should be posted in this blog, when possible.  A steering commitee is to proceed.  Valeria has legally advised of the structure to form a holding company LLC (the land owners, headed by Dominick initially) and to associate it with a cooperative LLC, which encompasses official members of the group cooperative.

Herein, is included some background info about the attorney:
from Valeria Gheorghiu is an environmental and civil rights attorney integrating restorative justice into the practice of law.  She currently practices cooperative, environmental and civil rights law at her office in Kingston, New York.  Her more notable cases include representing the Ramapough Nation, Occupy New Paltz and advancing pagan rights in the Matter of Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater, Inc. v. McCoy et al. As a multi-lingual contract attorney, Valeria co-founded United Contract Attorneys drawing from her prior work as a global justice organizer, and as a workers’ rights attorney at NGOs such as South Jersey Legal Services.  She also serves on the Taskforce for the Ulster County Restorative Justice and Community Empowerment Center, the  National Lawyers Guild NYC Chapter Executive Committee, for which she co-founded the Restorative Justice Committee, and the Center for World Indigenous Studies.
At Vermont Law School, she was an Albert Schweitzer Fellow related to her summer internship with Alburnus Maior’s efforts to stop a gold mine in Rosia Monta, Romania.  Her 3L summer policy work on farmers’ rights at Gene Campaign in India as a Fellow for the Center for World Indigenous Studies resulted in a publication in the Fourth World Journal.  She also initiated a legal text drive to several developing country law school libraries worldwide as Co-Chair of the International Law Society.
Valeria also holds certificates in Ecovillage and Permaculture Design, as well as Restorative Justice and Kundalini Yoga.  She is in Year Two of the Priestess Path, a woman’s leadership development path mostly rooted in indigenous european traditions.  She is currently founding the Sacred FireSchoolhouse Collective through which she hopes to teach Ecovillage Design and Restorative Justice and facilitate collective intentional community cocreative design for more sustainable living, integrating land use law as needed.  She owns land in High Woods, Saugerties, New York, where she is experimenting in creating a forest farm and teaches ginseng and goldenseal growing workshops.  As a Master Gardener trainee, she founded the Sojourner Truth Memorial Community Garden at the Ulster County Family Courthouse.
  • City of Kingston Conservation Advisory Council, Commissioner, June 2009 – June 2011
  • Ulster County Bar Association, Secretary, June 2010 – June 2011: Won grant for and founded Sojourner Truth Community Garden at Ulster County Family Courthouse with Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Admitted to New York Bar, June, 2009, Southern District Court of New York, June  2017 and New Jersey State Bar and District Court, December 2007
  • Associate Scholar and Board Member, Center for World Indigenous Studies
  • Member of the Executive Committee and Chair and Co-Founder of the Restorative Justice Committee of the NYC Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association Member
  • Restorative Justice Certificate, Simon Fraser University, December ‘16
  • Kundalini Yoga Level 1, Kundalini Research Institute, June ‘13
  • Ecovillage Design Education certificate, Gaia Education, June ‘14 – team lead for “Living Justice” case study
  • Permaculture Design Course, Center for Bioregional Living, July 2016
  • Land Use Leadership Alliance Training Program graduate, Pace Law School, November 2010
  • Languages: Fluent Romanian, French and Spanish; Reading Italian
  • Dual U.S. / Romanian citizenship
Valeria A. Gheorghiu‎ to Occupy Poughkeepsie
Greetings Occupiers, supporters, and lovers of liberty,
Join the National Lawyer's Guild and Occupy Poughkeepsie for a Know Your Rights Training with Valeria Gheorghiu, Esq.
Sunday, February 19th
5:30 - 7:00 pm (right before General Assembly)
Christ Episcopal Church
20 Carroll Street, Poughkeepsie NY, 12601
RSVP: Andrew at (401) 338-6219 or
About Know Your Rights Trainings
Learn about your Constitutionally-protected rights to free speech and lawful assembly, and your protections against undue search and seizure and self-incrimination. Understand the procedures that police and federal agents are obligated to follow, and how to conduct yourself if you encounter law enforcement or become the subject of a investigation. Learn about the expansion of government procedures and powers under the PATRIOT Act and subsequent legislation.
Donations are requested for Valeria, Christ Episcopal, and the NLG Legal Observers Fund. Please help us support our fellow workers for justice. NLG's pamphlet "You Have the Right to Remain Silent: A Know Your Rights Guide for Law Enforcement Encounters" will be available. Download it and other resources are online at
About the Trainer -**Valeria Gheorghiu, Esq.
Valeria Gheorghiu practiced immigration, non-profit, environmental and criminal defense law out of her office in Kingston, New York. She formerly worked as a workers’ rights attorney at the Worker's Rights Law Center of NY, Inc. and South Jersey Legal Services, Inc. She is a member of the National Lawyers Guild and has organized and served as a legal observer for the Occupiers. She has spoken and led workshops at the U.S. Social Forum, the Left Forum, Folk Seeds, and for the Chatham Peace Initiative. She is published in the Fourth World Journal on her work in India as a Fellow for the Center for World Indigenous Studies with Gene Campaign. In 2011, as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Ulster County Bar Association, she founded the Sojourner Truth Community Garden at the Ulster County Family Courthouse with the Relatives as Parents Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension. She also served as Commissioner of the Conservation Advisory Council of the City of Kingston, and is a Master Gardener volunteer.
Gheorghiu graduated from Vermont Law School in ’06 with a Juris Doctor and a Masters’ of Studies in Environmental Law. While in law school, she served as co-chair of the International Law Society, creating the annual legal book drive, which shipped donated new and used legal texts to universities of lesser developed countries such as Guatemala, Romania and India. As an Albert Schweitzer fellow at Vermont Law School, she taught international environmental justice to high school students, using Rosia Montana as a case study. In Rosia Montana, Romania, with Alburnus Maior, she helped their campaign to save Rosia Montana from a proposed cyanide leachate gold mine during the summer of 2004. She also researched the feasibility of a River keeper as a George Perkins Marsh Fellow in 2003.
Gheorghiu is a founder of Occupy Kingston, and ran for County Executive of Ulster County as a write-in candidate, promising Occupy-inspired General Assemblies if elected.

Joining a community and cooperative

Hello friends and fans of Solidarity Farm at Maybrook Lodge,

Seeds are in the ground!
We are growing vegetables AND creating a partnership/cooperative with Dominik (the exisiting owner) working towards taking title ownership of the property by July. To this end, we had a successful first meeting with Dominik, Kevin and lawyer, Valeria A. Gheorghui, on May 11th. Kevin and Nadette connected with our beloved Jim Johnson (a friend of Ganas with expertise with cooperatives) and we look forward to consulting with him again, after a second meeting with Dominik and Valeria, where we plan to invite potential stake holders to the table.

According to Kevin:
“We need to find the right legal structure(s) that allows us to:
1) Own the land in partnership with the current owner in a democratic way - something that allows for his majority ownership stake (for now) while giving all shareholders equal voting, regardless of percentage of ownership.
2) Create sweat equity ownership opportunity
Some people involved will be equity owners but not workers, others will be equity owners and workers, and some will be workers but not necessarily equity owners at first, but maybe over time as the worker ownership share grows.”

If you liked us on Facebook - THANK YOU! Today we reached 100 likes - WOO HOO!

If you haven’t liked us on Facebook, please do!
Also follow us on Instagram: solidarity_farm

and most importantly

7 PM
Thank you to ELLERY HOUSE, an intentional community in North Bed-Stuy, for hosting the meeting!

Agenda (TBD)


Share invite liberally!

People should feel free to come anytime, work, play, eat, mingle, bring food to share, bring drinks to share, bring friends or just bring yourself - WE WILL WELCOME YOU!

Saturday - Work Day
Sunday  - Potluck and BBQ
Informational Meetings - TBA
Potential Stake Holders Meeting - TBA
Tours - TBA
Spontaneous Dance Parties - TBA
Campfires - TBA
Music Jams - TBA
Carpools to Water holes - TBA

Solidarity Farm at Maybrook Lodge
Kevin: 347-820-2947

This will be a great weekend to visit and get involved, PLEASE JOIN US!

If you plan to make the trip up from the NYC area and do at least 2 hours of work, please note that Dominik has graciously offered to sponsor anyone coming up by bus, in order to support the use of public transportation. That means you will be reimbursed for your bus ticket.

There are buses from Port Authority via ShortLine: that go directly to Kerhonkson. One way fare is $32 and RT is $64. The "official" stop in Kerhonkson in the Sunoco Mart 6337 Rt 209. We had previously written that you can request that the bus driver drop you off at Maybrook Lodge, 5728 Route 209, THIS IS UNFORTUNATELY NOT CORRECT!
However, if you call Kevin, we can get someone to pick you up at the Sunoco Mart.

If anyone is planning to drive up, keep Nadette in the loop. So she can coordinate car pools and such!

If you want to spend the night at the farm, you are welcome! Let Kevin or Nadette know. There are rooms available or you can bring a tent.

We look forward to seeing you at the farm!

with gratitude and in solidarity,

Nadette and Kevin

Nadette StaĊĦa: or 917-535-1989
or Kevin Skvorak: or 347-820-2947

Joining a community.  What's it all about?  It's usually more formally called an "intentional community"; but what does that mean?  Let's roll this back to the more general, the inherent need for basic community, for all human beings (if indeed it is a need, a required-necessity).

Community also semantically seems to be a word comprised of two words: common and unity. What do we have in common which unifies us as a group?

The academic etymology would be important to touch upon.  Let's start with the popular wikipedia source, although not to rest on its purported authority.  "A community is a small or large social unit (a group of living things) who have something in common, such as norms, religion, values, or identity. (and) ...a community is a group of people living near one another who interact socially." 

read more at the dedicated page, entitled the same...