There’s a deep multi-cultural history of integrating social and economic co-operation with agricultural systems via a pattern widely referred to as “mutual aid”. Some examples of historical mutual aid societies which explicitly help farmers include The Grange, Via Campesina, Italian farming co-ops, and Cherokee Gadugi.
Since land is the basis of all survival and of wealth, communities who manage landscapes together over long periods of time develop trust and co-operative resource sharing as survival strategies. Zev Friedman will share about his co-operative experience living at Earthaven Ecovillage and founding/participating in many co-op organizations, the intensive research he’s been engaged in for the last 4 years around mutual aid history, and the progress made so far to establish Co-operate WNC, a regional mutual aid organization. We’ll emphasize how to apply lessons from Mondragon and other co-operative endeavors to our own region in practical ways and give you clues to begin mutual aid in your own life and community as well as get engaged in Co-operate WNC.

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