Archive for October, 2009

October 16, 2009

A wee co-op news round-up…

Keswick housing co-op in the Lake District are also open to new members.

Enheduanna, based in Birmingham, are looking to raise loanstock to create a co-op.

A Radical Routes gathering is happening next month at the Cowley Club social center in Brighton. I’d love to get to that but it’s too damn far these days, and I’m off up some mountains around that time anyway.

At the beginning of the month Coventry Peace House are holding activity weekends.

Elinor Ostrom wins nobel prize for economics. “Ostrom was working in a branch outside the financial mainstream Promoting co-operation as an alternative, apparently. See her wee whiteboard seminar.

Somewhat positive coverage of co-ops in The Times last week.

OpenSpace (mentioned in The Times piece) are part of Work For Change Co-op and have made a film.

Who Made Your Pants? is a new workers co-operative “empowering marginalised women by providing flexible employment.”

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October 13, 2009

Stepping Stones aka Highbury Farm

Stepping Stones housing co-op and farm are looking for new members. I stayed there a few years ago, for a long weekend. Their huge old farmhouse was in need  of a touch of TLC, they were in the middle of re-wiring the place, floorboards up, cables sticking out. They were also talking of an eco refit, I think they were looking into the funding and planning.

The place is great, a couple of apple and pear orchards up on top of a hill with a fantastic view of the valley. Shitloads of plums and hazel nuts growing along the path up the hill too. And it’s apparently wild hog country! I kid you not. Though I didn’t see any myself.

They even have their own sheep. Those I did see. In fact, I got to see them up very close indeed. Coz I helped round them up and clip their feet – not an easy job at all, best part of an afternoon. You’re expected to really get stuck in as a visitor to Stepping Stones. Yep, I helped give sheep a manicure! We got them in a wee pen inside the barn and I was invited to have a go. One person gently flips the sheep on it’s back and holds him/her while another gets clipping with the, er, clippers? Not too difficult but obviously sheep aren’t big fans of being tossed upside down. Neither do sheep make a habit of asking to go to the toilet – they just go where they are, without warning. Up the back of my wellies in this case. Every few minutes. We were in the pen for a few hours, there were a dozen sheep to see to. I was stinking after that.

Oh yeh, and they were making their own cider! (No, not the sheep) Well they’ve got a lot of apples – and it’s cider country after all.