I was, I have to confess, somewhat horrified that it has been a year since the last blog post! There are two reasons: One, I rationalised in my mind that I was doing Facebook posts and that most people would read those to stay up to date. However the second was that I kept waiting to have the most exciting news that our legal structure was completed and we were all systems go to have our founding members start building and to have others join us. However, one year later we are still working on it.
We started the process of forming the co-operative over three years ago. This was a process fraught with drawn out legal compliance and negotiations with the Dept of Fair trade which administers Co-operatives. The Dept has had many challenges with communities governed by a co-operative structure over the years and are becoming very stringent in their requirements. After this protracted process and more costly compliance requirements from the Dept we decided there has to be another way and so we have gone down the simpler route of forming a company. Of course our Constitution has had to be revised to be compliant with the Corporations Act which has taken more time, but we are nearly there!
Once this is finalised the last step is to finalise our access agreement with NSW National Parks & Wildlife Services as the land will be transferred to Bindarrabi Pty Ltd and will require a new access agreement as our entrance is through Koreelah National Park. We are surrounded by NP on three sides and a gorge on the other which is wonderful but another legal hurdle.
Otherwise, it has been a great year, more progress on the community garden. The chicken caravan is working well and the chooks are being their industrious selves, scratching, eating bugs and manuring as we move them progressively over the garden. Our winter crop was not as successful as hoped as we had 28 days under 3 degrees so we will put up a poly-tunnel for next year. Learning and adapting!
Our goats are proving to be wonders at lowering the fuel load in less accessible areas so they also are doing their job well. We are due to have some more babies in October and November so watch this space! Or perhaps Facebook :)
Our pizza oven project has been a great success. We deviated a little from other designs by using the rhyolite rock from our land which can be heating to a glowing red without exploding - like volcanic rock- to hold the heat in the oven. Most successful! Almost too successful as we burnt a few pizzas before realising they really did only need a couple of minutes in the oven!
I really want to thank our founding members for hanging in there and continuing to work to establish our foundations while we work through this process. Blessings on you all :)