What about establishing a Foundation Farming School, say near San Francisco in Richmond or El Cerrito? A motto might be “Learn to Grow.” This school could have the farmers live on the property and teach each other and explore new ways to grow– grow food, grow personally, and grow new techniques. Everyone a student everyone a teacher.
The San Francisco area has some unique things to offer: a taste for good food, very smart and adventurous people, and a good farming climate. Maybe we could bring this together to make something important: a development environment for growing new ideas and making them real. Then the new ideas that are worth replicating could spread to other farms.
I can think of some inspiring people in the Bay Area that could help think this through: Pilar Reber of Sunnyside Organics, the Farmer/Lawyer/Grange Master Lawrence Jaffe in Sebastopol, and John Jeavons the genius of low-inputs farming. I am sure there are many more, but maybe a meeting to discuss where this could go. I am wondering if we could get the land were available for free, then could it support itself after a upfront startup grant? In that way it would be a “Foundation” farming school because it could be built on a permanent foundation of debt-free land.
Dreaming further, could it be created on the democratic principles that because so useful during Occupy? David Graeber’s new book The Democracy Project argues persuasively that if things start with a egalitarian, horizontal approach, then direct democracy can work to run many types of projects. I do not have much experience in this, but others do and might be able to help.
I am thinking that maybe a gathering of interested people over some good food might be a way to see if this is worthwhile pursuing. Please comment if you will.