Our progress – a timeline

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December 25, 2012 by susanyvivi

imagesWell, we’ve come a long way since we began a year ago. We still have a long way to go of course, but as we said in our last post, things are starting to snowball and we admit to a tendency toward maniacal grinning lately.

To help keep everyone feeling connected to the progress we’re making, we thought it might be helpful to give you an idea of the steps we’ve taken to get to this point, the steps we will be taking in the very near future, and the steps we anticipate needing to take very soon. Here goes.

sprout_plant_spring.ce_-300x225November 2011: First meeting of seven people. Our weekly meetings begin.

January 2012: Visited Yarrow Ecovillage near Chilliwack. Talked with one of the current organizers/coordinators/managers of the community who referred us to Fraser Commons Farm, a co-operative model relevant to us.

March 2012: First meeting with our Realtor. Six members view various farm properties.

August 2012: The Village Farm Vision drafted.

September 2012: Meeting with the Sooke Planning Office. Received encouragement about our vision of starting a community farm in Sooke.

kaleSeptember 2012: Call with the Agricultural Land Commission. They were cautiously positive if we do what we say we want to do.

September 2012: Conversations at the Sooke Slow Food Cycle about our plans. Beginning of public outreach.

October 2012: Meeting with accountant and organizer extraordinaire to help make decisions about group structure.

October 2012: Several new members join.

November 2012: Meeting with Vancity (credit union) who were very enthusiastic and encouraging. We discussed the possibility of financing as well as grants after we purchase land. They refer us to a contact at the BC Cooperative Association.

November 2012: Conference call with BCCA. They were also very enthusiastic, full of ideas and contacts and suggested a conference call with Fraser Commons and Farm Folk/City Folk.

images-1November 2012: Meeting with The Eco-Sense in the Highlands who were very supportive and offered help in working with authorities around building sustainably and with energy technology issues.

December 2012: Start of The Village Farm blog to help keep the growing group of members and supporters connected and informed. Increased viewership with each post.

December 2012 : Discussion about the Village Farm at a Transition Town Café meeting in Sooke. We got an excited response and an offer to put our information on their distribution list.

December 2012: Meeting with our Realtor regarding our options moving forward.

December 2012: Informal meeting with a couple who were instrumental in the creation of the Sooke senior housing and assisted living at Ayre Manor. They were helpful with information about funding possibilities and local contacts who may be supportive.

December 2012: Conference call with BCCA to discuss the next steps in forming our cooperative. Long and productive call.

baby-pepperDecember 2012: Follow up meeting with Vancity to discuss financing for the purchase of land as well as grants for infrastructure projects like road building.

UPCOMING MEETINGS:

January 2013: Conference call with BCCA with several members present to discuss our progress toward incorporating our Co-op. Fraser Commons founder and resident will be present.

FUTURE MEETINGS (TO BE ARRANGED):

The Farmlands Trust – to discuss the process of putting land in trust and a possible partnership.

Sooke Food CHI – to talk about The Village Farm project and how they might become involved.

Fundraising meeting with a progressive fundraiser we’ve been referred to.

Meetings with group dynamics workshop organizers regarding communication, consensus decision-making and conflict resolution.

Visits with other community farms and ecovillages – Fraser Commons in particular as their model seems workable for us.

2011-07-08-14.12.16-300x225Meeting with a lawyer who is familiar with real estate purchases by groups/co-ops.

February 2013: Table at Seedy Saturday in Sooke as a part of our community outreach.

March 2013: Open House to present our plans for The Village Farm to the residents of Sooke.

As always, thank you so much for your interest and support. We’re making headway but we couldn’t do it without everyone’s staunch good humour and stubborn positivity. Until next time.

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