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Public Forum: Co-ops and Permaculture - Feb. 24 -

Permaculture Economics and Co-operatives: An Ecosystems Approach to Business

A Public Forum

 

“Permaculture is a body of thought that attempts to build ecological dynamics into design. A permacultural designer entirely understands the idea of obtaining a yield from the earth by investing time and energy, but the key difference is that they attempt to do so without undermining ecological balance. The focus is on mutualistic integration with ecologies, acting in accordance with natural regenerative processes rather than parasitically exploiting them.”
Applying the Principles of Permaculture to Finance

Come participate in a robust discussion about how co-operatives are building resilience in their businesses, communities, and environments through the lens of permaculture. Our panelists will present the stories of their co-ops and local food experiences, examining the triple bottom line commitment that resonates with both permaculture and co-operative principles.

When: Monday February 24 at 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Where: Chapel, Loyola House, Ignatius Jesuit Retreat Centre
Tickets:
  1. 5th Assembly Registrants: free
  2. General public admission/Non-Assembly attendees: $20 (at the door)
Storytellers: 

Abra Brynne, Kootenay Co-op & Food Secure Canada

Abra Brynne is coined and defines the term Foodshed Animator. The Kootenay/Boundary region, BC and Canada would not be the same without her. By nature, a researcher, writer and educator with a primary focus on Foodshed Animation–fostering the production and consumption of local foods-Abra succeeds in providing practical resources to farmers, processors and eaters to help foster a safe, local and sustainable food system. Her work over 18 years has encompassed community development, gender issues, food security, sustainable communities and food systems, environmental and social standards and certification. She has given many talks on Foodshed Animation, food security and food sovereignty. She has developed a range of tools and educational materials including: “Canadian Consumers guide to GE Ingredients,” and “Food Citizenship: engaging individual citizens in rebuilding local food systems.”

Damian Ajodha, Master Farmer, Specialist in Soil Science, Agro-ecological Disease and Fertility Management systems

I have been growing organically since I was a child here in Canada.  After receiving the honours B.Sc. from the University of Toronto Environmental Science Program in 1999, I travelled to my parental homeland in the Caribbean and began growing soy beans and other mixed crops on river valley volcanic soils of the St. Lucian coastal foothills.

The challenges of tropical agriculture forced me to question every aspect of traditional agriculture and I soon began designing farming systems based on advanced organic farming/ permaculture system I had been exposed to throughout my travels in the region to Dominica, Cuba and Jamaica, where I successfully completed training to become an internationally recognized organic farm inspector (IOIA).

I aspire to be an educator/ revolutionary farmer, for at its’ root the local food movement is the beginning of a revolution.  Transforming food systems has always been the activity that forever changes a society.  Buying “local” or “organic” will not automatically transform us from the oppressor into the oppressed, by whom, according to Paulo Freire, the revolution must be started.  However, by supporting enterprises that are training people to regain our humanity by reconnecting with our roots, we begin to regain our Humanity.

Martin TamlynConestogo River Local Food Co-op

Martin Tamlyn is the founding member and current coordinator of the Conestogo River Local Food Co-op, based in Drayton, Ontario. Before moving to Canada in 2000, he worked with the Exmouth Permaculture group in the UK.  The group ran many community sustainable development initiatives, which included the Exmouth Farmlink – an early CSA model.  As a trained school teacher, Martin has changed his teaching practice from the classroom to his community, coordinating local on-farm education programs and community events.

The Conestogo River Local Food Co-op, now in its third year, has progressed from a winter vegetable box program to a year round online ordering system that includes a wider diversity of produce, wholefoods and fair-trade products.

Martin has become involved on the Steering Committee of the LOFC Network because he is interested in the development of successful and sustainable local food systems. As a network, he feels we have so much to offer to each other through sharing, learning, supporting and connecting.

Erin Chapelle, Karma Marketplace

erin chapelle believes that co-operation could be the solution to many of our largest world issues–but, for the moment, she is most deeply committed to seeing this co-operation within her community’s local food movement.  After many years in Latin America, living and travelling in countries that work much more closely with their regional food systems than Canada does, erin returned to the Georgian Bay area in 2007 and founded the Karma Project, a not-for-profit food co-op, which oversees community gardens, farmers’ markets, a Main Street shop, and many educational workshops and events.  Karma’s co-operative succession planning came about as we looked down the road at longterm community food security and real municipal change, realizing that our mission and vision would be strengthened by true community ownership.

For this reason, erin is thrilled to be working with the LOFC Network and the many genius co-operators that make it up.  She thinks that allowing the Network to become an open source learning space, creatively woven together and developed by its diverse membership, will provide the movers and shakers behind Ontario’s food and farming co-ops with a place to find answers, to recharge their batteries, and to discover the inclusion and ideas required to enhance their individual projects.  erin brings her experience in municipal politics and multi-faceted programming to the LOFC table, hoping it will shed some valuable light on the Network’s role in our changing food system.

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Public Forum: Co-ops and Permaculture – Feb. 24