Are you looking to live more sustainably? Do your passions include gardening, fermentation, wildcrafting, natural building, reforestation, caring for animals and educating/learning from others? Would you like a cheap and easy way to start your own sustainable business?
The Preston Hollow Land Collective offers participants a way to make all those things possible. We are currently looking for new members who want to be a part of our fast-growing network of small cottage industries, teachers and craftspeople. We aim to experiment with new methods of trade that promote locally-based, small-scale products and services. The idea sounds big, but with the right people, it is VERY doable.
- The Land: Situated on a beautiful 110-acre south-facing slope 30 miles south of Albany, Preston Hollow is a quiet town ripe for an agricultural rennaissance. Currently, we have one house, a few barns and an old production apple orchard with mint, oregano and raspberries growing wild underneath. The property is bordered by a creek and there is access to 2 additional natural water sources (a spring and a well). There are 4-5 large fields that have most likely been terra-formed by loggers and the wooded area is still young (and in need of some tender love and care as well). The house is situated in the center of the town of Preston Hollow (pop: 700) and goes back over a mile up the mountain. For pictures of the location, send an email to the address below.
- The Organization: We have signed a long-term lease with the landowner with the rights to develop this land as a permaculture site. In lieu of this, we are looking to build our network of permaculture enthusiasts who can invest their time/energy/resources into a cooperative means of subsistence over the course of the next few years.
CONCEPT: HOW IT WORKS
- Co-op members can be invested in this project in a variety of ways. The co-op will offer 110% support for individuals with ambitious plans for their craft or farm-based product by way of help with fund-raising, marketing and general labor.
- A FULL TIME presence on the land would require the member to pay a fee for accomodations in the main house or rent a room from someone in the town. This would best suit someone who would like to have a share in the year-round, more labor-intensive operations of the collective such as raising animals for eggs, milk or re-sale; aquaponics; trail-building; annual agriculture (standard farm crops); value-added farm products; etc. This would require a genuine commitment to communal living and pooling resources.
- A PART-TIME presence on the land would be appropriate for anybody proposing a project or activity that requires less time time to maintain. For example, Brooklyn artists could use some of the barns as a studio space (and possibly a show-room), which would bring diversity, creativity and new skills into the community, and/or a member could keep beehives on the property and come to collect the honey/check on the hives once a month. Other examples of part-time endeavors include refurbishing and redesign of existing apple orchard, natural building workshops, canning, fermenting, wildcrafting (plenty of golden rod!), growing medicinal plants and mushrooms in the forest, or taking groups out on healing retreats.
- A PER DIEM membership would be open to those who wanted to host events or just camp and help out once in a while.
Hypothetical model: Part of this land will be used to grow organic heirloom vegetables for seed by one member of the co-op for retail, who will then give the pulp of those vegetables to another member invested in canning/preserves/fermentation. Both members will make money off of their product, but essentially share the overhead. Others may choose to invest in livestock, bees, mushrooms, compost and/or edible perennials to produce their own value-added products, though our system will be fully-integrated throughout. The chickens will clean and fertilize the crops, that are pollinated by the bees, that are then used for food and sale, the scraps of which get fed back to the chickens.
- The overall vision for the organization is to stack as many mutually beneficial functions (social and physical) as possible on one piece of land that could draw small amounts of revenue to the individual invested in them, but add to the abundance of the greater community.
- We aim to build community, food security and experiment with a truly sustainable economic model.
- Our membership is ultra-progressive, so we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual preference and/or economic background.
- We ultimately seek to be of service to the land and the people living around it.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
- Contact Mihail Kossev at firstname.lastname@example.org / 732-492-6001