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Land ownership and permaculture

Robert Ray
volunteer

Joined: Jul 06, 2009
Posts: 1321
Location: Cascades of Oregon
    
  12
Currently we have the legal description of ownership with the ugly concept of eminent domain. Understanding that land ownership exists currently and we do have some type of claim if we own property and assuming there is no danger of government seizure.
Would you agree that there has to be a continuation of a vision on a particular parcel for permaculture to develop fully.
Can a permaculture parcel be developed in one generation?
Would a working concept of communal ownership with a common vision be better?
Would community guidelines for private property land use, directed at permaculture premises be an answer?

"There is enough in the world for everyones needs, but not enough for everyones greed"
(Buckman)
Matt Ferrall


Joined: Dec 26, 2008
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
    
    4
perhaps a sense of ownership in North America by those of european decent is impossible then,as this would be "stolen" land.


There is nothing permanent in a culture dependent on such temporaries as civilization.

www.feralfarmagroforestry.com
Robert Ray
volunteer

Joined: Jul 06, 2009
Posts: 1321
Location: Cascades of Oregon
    
  12
I'm a small part American Indian, Cherokee from N.W. Arkansas so for me that does that apply?
North America has no exclucive claim on injustices. I've personally seen it elsewhere.
Conquering entities always write the history unfortunately.
How would permaculture become the conquering vision?
Armies of individuals (owners)?
Armies of communities?
Armies of communes?
Is it doomed from past mistakes or injustices? Do we live in the "Now" or burden ourselves with past transgressions and give up all hope for a better future?
I don't think that many of us will ever get through life without experiencing or seeing some form of injustice.
  Back on track, let's assume that there are individuals with legal ownership of property, there are community owned parcels and communal organizations with communal property ownership of some form, is one any better than another for expanding permacultures success?
Matt Ferrall


Joined: Dec 26, 2008
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
    
    4
IMO either one of those,if taken to their extreme ends would create imbalance and become ripe for failure.A mosaic of different management stratagies provides the most diversity in habitat provided they are within reason.This is best facilitated through a sense of private ownership of a given area.However,some management activities that are efficient require colaboration over larger areas.Which constitutes a type of communal ownership.
Storm V Spooner


Joined: Oct 20, 2010
Posts: 144
Instead of communal "ownership" an effective and practical alternative would be to have actual ownership, but then also have programs such as those that The Nature Conservancy used to have (before they changed presidents and dropped the most effective programs), which gave direction to land owners and incentives in the form of certification and recognition for putting into place the practices objectively determined to work.

In this way we have the personal motivation of the owner, and the community spirit of a shared larger scale effort, without ever stomping on any toes or rights..

Just another perspective..


To love the world is to want to know it. To know the world we must accept it. To accept it we use reason to understand it. Never should we shun reason or condemn it.
Robert Ray
volunteer

Joined: Jul 06, 2009
Posts: 1321
Location: Cascades of Oregon
    
  12
As long as "certification" doesn't get diluted as organic has that might be a motivational process.
A mix as Mt Goat describes sounds like what I envision.
Kathleen Sanderson


Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Posts: 969
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
    
    1
Yes, I think that a mix of systems is always best -- the human ecosystem needs diversity just as much as the wild ecosystem and our domestic 'farm' and permaculture ecosystems do.  No two people are alike, and our social systems should reflect that and give everyone a place where they can function to their highest potential.

Kathleen
Storm V Spooner


Joined: Oct 20, 2010
Posts: 144
As long as all interaction is 100% voluntary, a natural mix will occur. As soon as coercion is used to force anyone to change peaceful behavior, then there might be a mix, but a very undesirable one. Where I am building we have ownership of land, but much of our efforts are "communal" because we share equipment, knowledge, labor, time, and the results. None of this would happen with any coercive system, which is in part why I have been advocating for peaceful voluntary cooperation with respect for the individual, which naturally and necessarily includes real ownership.

A good example is actually this forum where some are more interested in the various aspects of growing food, others in natural building, and others still other issues. This is a voluntary natural order and diversity, which gets even greater within each of those categories, such that diversity is an accidental but pleasant consequence of non-coercive systems where each is free to do her own thing on her own space/property.
                                      


Joined: Mar 15, 2010
Posts: 67
I own land, and I am a Permaculturist.

Community Property is filled with difficulties.  They can be overcome, assuredly, but many intentional communities have swum...and sunk... because of the One Pot System.  Here's why...

The one pot economy is built upon the concept that everyone gives according to their ability and receives according to their needs.  Two governing bodies (or one with two functions) must immediately be organized and authorized - one to decide what an individual's "ability" is and another to decide what an individual's "need" is.  You as an individual are biased, and therefore, you are incapable of deciding these factors yourself.  You are human, and therefore basically corrupt and selfish, and therefore, you could never judge the same for someone else as you would for yourself.

Now, by criteria are the folks who end up on these governing bodies chosen?  What qualifies them?  And there you go.

I've lived in intended communities that fell to pieces because of the social conflict that infects such systems. 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Cloudpiler wrote: You are human, and therefore basically corrupt and selfish


Not everyone believes that humans are "basically corrupt" any more than any other animal is "basically corrupt."

Humans are basically human. 


Idle dreamer

Storm V Spooner


Joined: Oct 20, 2010
Posts: 144
I agree with Ludi, humans are neither the saints that "communal ownership" would require, nor are we all necessarily corrupt.

Those who are corrupt have a difficult time operating in a voluntary association community, though they thrive where coercion is involved. This is but one of the practical reasons for recognizing individual worth thus individual property.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
I think the best plans and schemes for human society have to recognize that humans are human, are always going to be human, and not expect people to be saints (or demons).  At least this attitude has served me throughout most of my adult life.  Most people are the center of their own little universe, yes, generally "selfish," but not always. Expecting humans to be human, I'm rarely disappointed by them. 

                                      


Joined: Mar 15, 2010
Posts: 67
It may not universally believed that people are corrupt, but I think you must agree that whenever any group of people gather together for any purpose, there will be disagreement.  Community Property Law requires the group to create some mechanism for resolving such conflict.  That's where representative bodies get organized.  They develop strategies for resolving problems.  Invariably, basic foundational premises must be made, or no planning can take place.  That is where assumptions about how people would behave, or historically have behaved, in this situation or that must be made.  Qualification for acceptance and worthiness for retention are required by most states community property laws.

Who decides who gets to live in the IC which is owned by its members?  How and under what conditions might those policies change?

How and why might a person be asked, or required, to leave the IC, and therefore lose ownership in the community property. 

We do, unfortunately, live in a culture that places property at the very apex of the value system pyramid.  Such questions cannot be left unanswered and no amount of philosophizing about whether  people are good or bad answers them.  And there's the dig. 
Robert Ray
volunteer

Joined: Jul 06, 2009
Posts: 1321
Location: Cascades of Oregon
    
  12
Continuation of vision I guess is what needs to happen. Whether property is individually owned or Communaly owned.
How does that continuation continue if the property is individually owned?
How is the vision reinforced and continued in a communal setting?
                                      


Joined: Mar 15, 2010
Posts: 67
A good example would be this forum.  On the surface it seems like an open community where people are free to express their ideas.  Let's call that the "property."

If I were to get really obnoxious, become absolutely vulgar, berate everybody for this stupid adherence to environmentalist wacked out ideas.  If I were to become abusive or obscene, there is a mechanism in place to banish me from the forum (at least I hope there is). 

Why would such policies be even considered?  People just don't do that sort of thing do they?  Yes, they do.

Now, multiply that about a thousand times and you have the community property, one-pot IC.

I think land ownership is essential.  Then if an IC is considered, a sort of family must come together.  The better IC, IMO, would be for a group of landowners to unite in intention.  That would comprise a public entity comprise of several (or many) individual communes (families) working together toward obtaining group yield and then distributing that yield according to the organized intention. 

"Intentional Community" ought to be more about the intention.  That communes have taken the term to mean unrelated people living together in a common property, house, compound, complex, is unfortunate.  It colors the actual meaning of the phrase. 
Storm V Spooner


Joined: Oct 20, 2010
Posts: 144
That method of "resolution" is nearly always (and always beyond VERY small groups) that of might makes right. The ones in power decree what will  happen and the value of the individual is wholly denied.

That said, it is true that if every person in the community always agreed with every other then this system could work without coercion. As we know this does not happen and the chances of finding a wholly voluntary community where every member always agrees on everything is at best merely a logical possibility but one which none of us will ever see in our lifetimes. By refraining from governing councils (or whatever name they are to be given) then the power of persuasion, rather than coercion, must be used. Sure this may mean that a cantankerous old coot may prevent that beautiful skyscraper, or wind farm, solar power plant, etc. from being build on his land, but that is a tiny sacrifice for the benefits of security in your person and the basic respect for persons.


                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
This is a long thread. I read the first page, and skimmed the fourth. Sorry if I missed something that is re-dresed here-

I wonder how many of the folks in this discussion live on a trust or have a membership in one?

I dont. Iv'e studied the trust model intensively and have land Im interestedin placing in trust.

my reasons are simple- I want the land managed by covenant, and productive of quality and enduring livelihoods for the people staying here. That would be mostly woodlot management, and some slightly better than subsitence farming for 2-3 families.

If folks came in with investment to buy surrounding properties and agreements were formed as partners in a 'neghborhood' that would suit my needs somewhat, but fail in many- the site im on woull go unmanaged, and therefore without produce of livlihood. Thats wasteful, IMO.

I could lease the land to a young couple under that premise, yet cant help but feel that a lease brings a state sanctioned hierarchy into the relationship. While I have no qualms with hierarchy, I choose to maintain some autonomy. Gaining a state sanction for owner lease rights requires LLC formation, lawyers, ridiculous insurances, taxes, and so on- all to do  project that is in the community interest. its a bit insulting.

I prefer to empower and be empowered by basing land bound relationships on filial trust and affection. That relationship can define personal covenants and contracts clarify things in the terms agreed by the parties concerned. It does take time. It all requires intergenerational commitments.

If we plan to build forested food systems which have durable lifespans of several hundreds or thousands of years, we will need to change the way we do business. The proliferation of the liquidation of assets is such that if you produce a stellar site that takes 60 years to ramp into full eden like production, and then it get tossed into an estate sale at the owners death, or is sold by hiers, or even for medical care, the next guy along is likely to cut the trees for timber export to japan.

The State has a form of sanctifying a personal agreement defined in a covenant, between multiple parties. There are limited legal implications following the provision of the 12 key accountability protocols, and the form provides solvency of personal liability for members while providing tax benefits and a bit of insurance that the landed designs will endure longer than designs on private property. The Land Trust.


Ideally, my goal is to treat my 'property' as  camp, visiting it seasonally and being at other sites through 8 months of the year or slightly more. Having the land in trust with other people who I share a vision with is a long term program. I have one partner. He takes care of things while im gone. He's theoretically interested in the process, but young enough be healthily uncommitted. Im also talking with friends regionally about camp projects.

right partners, right land, right on.

If any of you are on a Land trust in cascadia, Id love to check in with you more about your projects.
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 907
    
  18
Robert Ray wrote:How do you feel about land ownership and permaculture?


I've been involved in several communal situations. I've watched a lot of others very closely over the last three decades. They almost never work out long term. I finally decided to go the opposite - personal ownership of land, not any sort of group. Our family is as group as I'll get. Communism works great on the family level but gets progressively worse as the social group gets larger. Even Castro, bless his hard headed heart, admitted that Communism is a failure.
                          


Joined: Jul 08, 2011
Posts: 10
Location: Coast BC-BoundryCounty-BC
I just read this whole thread and everyone seems to have good Point. The problem I see is the human
diversity that Kathleen talks about.
Hence probably a mix of systems diverse to the individual seems like the most tenable solution.
Myself was once told I'm socially detached and although that seemed aggravating at the time after
considering it for awhile I know it to be true.
I can remain very happy doing stuff alone if thats whats going on. Other people I know on the other hand
need people to get things done.
There's no right or wrong to it just the personalities. Saying all this I believe all are useful and a diverse
system would work the best.
Living in B.C. with a larger land mass then Oregon,Washington and California put together and 95 percent
of it being deemed crown land (government owned) and they don't sell to private citizens our population
is going up and are available People livable land mass is going done hence the ridiculous prices here.
It seems with our population at around 4 million homesteading should be allowed saying that if you
institue it how to you keep the greedy people from abusing such a system?
If that could be worked out I believe rather than live in serfdom it would be in the Governments and the
peoples best interest to allow some form of homesteading in B.C.
Or if this economy collapses the more home grown food available the better it will be for everyone.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3772
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  53


It's called Share Cropping. Which has a whole bunch of evils all its own.
Leigh

I dredged this up from something I wrote during my first week on the forum, I think it bears repeating --- Jefferson Davis was quoted as saying that if you control the land you control the people on it. He was a strong proponent of sharecropping since in many ways it was just as enslaving as if you actually owned those who worked the land. Many post-Civil War sharecroppers were worse off financially than when they were slaves. Now it was no one's responsibility to house them or look after their health care or other needs. Jefferson Davis saw this as a positive development because it maintained the class system and made individual sharecroppers completely disposable since there were plenty of other desperate families looking for a job.

In other words if you don't own the means of production you are destined to be enslaved by those who do. Get yourself some land.

Well that's weird, I saw this in the recent topics but it looks like the last post was quite a while ago. And I was responding to page one, since I didn't notice that there were more pages.

When I go to " My Posts", it now prints out this entire post instead of just the link. Getting weirder.


QUOTES FROM MEMBERS --- In my veterinary opinion, pets should be fed the diet they are biologically designed to eat. Su Ba...The "redistribution" aspect is an "Urban Myth" as far as I know. I have only heard it uttered by those who do not have a food forest, and are unlikely to create one. John Polk ...Even as we sit here, wondering what to do, soil fungi are degrading the chemicals that were applied. John Elliott ... O.K., I originally came to Permies to talk about Rocket Mass Heaters RMHs, and now I have less and less time in my life, and more and more Good People to Help ! Al Lumley...I think with the right use of permie principles, most of Wyoming could be turned into a paradise. Miles Flansburg... Then you must do the pig's work. Sepp Holzer
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
Don't feel bad Dale, I do the same. Besides, this is a great thread. I just reread a bunch of it, which is interesting to see where my mind was two years ago compared to now.

A thought I had today was the best possible workers often are those who could do just fine on their own. The worst, are those who could never have their own land, etc. because they are so irresponsible. The same thing, a community made up of those who have enough to buy their own land and have their own place and manage themselves just might be wonderful (until of course they had to compromise on something. ) The worst type of community may well be when a group of people get together who have never even owned a house try to own land and work together. Too often everyone sits around waiting for someone else to do everything.

I would love to have a community of people, and I have lots of land. I have yet to find anyone who will work out. My requirements are pretty simple, but mainly it is "thou shalt not exploit". You will live whatever you use in better condition than you found it. You won't use up the land, the house, the animals, etc. just so you can improve your life short term at my expense. So far, with the four families we have tried, none of them got it.

So now, I hire people, pay them a salary, which includes staying in the property (they get paid as much as anyone working who doesn't stay on the property) and deal with them as employees. I don't view myself as much owner as steward of the lands and resources. The good workers want to preserve the company, so they keep their job. They bad ones want as much as they can get as quickly as they can, including stealing what doesn't belong to them.


Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Fred, I think a lot of intentional communities fail because they don't share a way of making a living among the members. Your employees share a way of making a living with you, the company. I think many intentional communities would do better if the members shared a way of making a living, a business on the land. Daniel Quinn calls this a "tribal business" and discusses it in his book "Beyond Civilization."

Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
I think you are right. Without some kind of income generation, it is pretty hard to live. Of course in our situation, if I could find people who would be willing to live and care for parts of the plantations (nothing more than watch over things and call if there is a problem), they could have land to stay on indefinitely. This means someone who only has a home, could sell it, move into an existing house (though maybe much smaller) and live off the income generated from the sell of their residence.

As long as they don't use things up, I don't expect a return. You would think I would be swamped with takers...
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3772
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  53
In almost any situation where something is offered freely you will get plenty of "takers" and most will not work out. Useful people look for good deals that suit their needs but they don't expect a free ride. I allowed a relative to live at my place for free, until he started making noise about getting paid as a caretaker. He was also put off by my reluctance to allow logging and by my disinterest in his plans for my land.
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
Yep, you get plenty of "takers" but not in a good sense. The truth I think is those who work hard and are independent enough to not want others to take care of them are generally doing just fine.
Hazel Reagan


Joined: Dec 20, 2011
Posts: 36
Location: SW Oregon Zone 8b
I'm a land owner, but consider myself a land steward. I will not sell even after death. Everything I do, I consider the impact of the land. I have WWOOFers come, but they are seasonal, I would not be opposed to having others live there that fully embrace Permaculture. However, most people are there for spring, summer & fall. Not too many want to be there for the winters that I find awesome. If I don't offer guidance, many walk wherever they want without considering the impact. I'm helping people see their part in the ecology.
 
 
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