If we want to: help set up organic smallholdings; allow people to build natural homes on their land; preserve rural skills and livelihoods; and develop a sustainable, non-corporate food supply, we have to do more than just talk about it. We have to actually do it ourselves, or use our money to bring it about. It’s not going to happen on its own.
The difficulty with trying to do it ourselves is that the planning system is geared towards large-scale agriculture, not organic smallholdings, and although a large farmer can put up enormous concrete structures, it’s virtually impossible for small farmers to build small, natural homes on their smallholdings so that they can be close to their crops and animals.
However, the Ecological Land Co-op have successfully challenged this position at Greenham Reach in Devon. They set up three plots and gained permission for the smallholders to build their own homes as long as they abide by the super-eco criteria set out in their management plan. Plotholders can buy a 150-year lease, rent-to-buy or rent, but the freehold is held in perpetuity by the co-op, ensuring that the land is farmed sustainably forever.
They aim to repeat their success at 20 other sites around the country, but they need money to do it. Do you have any, perhaps in a bank savings account? You will get a better return by transferring some money to the ELC, and you’ll be helping them to achieve their aims.
Their latest share offer is open until July 26th. They’ve raised £203,800 towards a minimum target of £230,000 – they need to raise another £26,200. Can you help? This isn’t charity – this is a sound financial investment, that will be helping to take back the land for ordinary people wanting to farm it sustainably, rather than contributing to bankers’ bonuses.
Does this make sense to you? Then go here to see their share offer and business plan.
NB: I invested a few weeks ago, and it took 5 minutes – it’s very easy.
The views expressed in our blog are those of the author and not necessarily lowimpact.org's
1Pie Pony July 9th, 2015
Organic and meat free, even if I had investment money if it involves slaughter many vegetarians and vegans will stick with Ecological Building Society, Credit Unions, Micro Finance etc.
2Dave Darby July 9th, 2015
Those are good too. Would never argue against veggie/vegan principles. More here – http://lowimpactorg.wpengine.com/is-it-ethical-to-eat-meat/
3William Molloy July 9th, 2015
Let me know if you do that over here in the US
4Dave Darby July 9th, 2015
Funny you should ask – we were contacted recently by this group – http://www.rockymountainsustainabilitycenter.org – they’re doing similar stuff in the States.
5William Molloy July 9th, 2015
Cool I do wish they weren’t running out of water on the west coast. I was going to go and build in the desert until I discovered the aquifers were not replenishing and just north of there in Canada is the three largest pools of toxic water already leaking into the river that flows do into the US and over those very aquifers.. ***sighs*** stay to the east and looking in the mountains for a piece of my heaven.. ?
6Shaun Chamberlin (@DarkOptimism) July 10th, 2015
I just had a little guest blog posted over on Rob Hopkins’ site – my own take on why the Eco Land Co-op is such an important beastie: