What Is a Co-op

Now on to the exciting world of co-ops. A co-op is a special kind of business. When starting a business it's cool to make all the money and be your own boss. Yeah right, when you're the only boss you also have a lot of responsibilities. Say for instance your business is a total flop, you are the only one in debt and you are the only one responsible for paying it. With a co-op there is more than one boss so you share the responsibility. So maybe you have to share the money, so you don't make as much as a person who doesn't have a co-op, but then again if the business tanks you won't have as much debt either. The debt could be shared between the owners of the business. One of the seven co-op principles says that everyone who works invests. Yes I did say seven. I don't remember them all because there are just to many, but then again I don't remember what I had for breakfast this morning either ,but that's not the point. The main one I remember is everyone gets an equal vote, meaning no matter what your role is in the company everyone has equal say. I also know co-ops have the free will and do most of the time work with other co-ops. The business group is a co-op. We are a workers co-op, meaning we work to give other youth jobs, pretty cool huh? The one thing I love about being a co-op is the fact that it cares about the community and the people in it. I definitely care about my community, because it's my home. The one place that will always be there for you when you need it the most. The people will always be there to help you through a crisis, so why not care? Your community is where your friends are where you have to go to everyday. If you don't care then that is just sad. Let me ask you do you want your future children and future grandchildren to grow up in a community where everyone can't stand each other and the surroundings are just nasty? I don't, and I'm quite sure a lot of people agree with me.

Hey whats up. It's Carisma again. Guess what? I have a secret I want to share. It's all about the food system and co-ops. The first thing you need to know about the food system is it isn't all about hamburgers from burger king or McDonalds. The food system is much larger than that, and deeper. It deals with where food comes from, and how far it has to travel to get to you. Right now everyone is part of a food system, not to be confused with food chain. You are part of your community food system, though many people don't think about it that much...What is a community food system? I know, who actually stops and wonders once a day what is a community food system. Yet we all are part each and everyday. There are four things a community food system has that seperates it from the globalized food system...
  1. food security is a goal where everyone in the neighborhood has good (healthy) food to eat
  2. proximity or how far you have to travel to get to your food, if you have to travel a long way (be honest) you're probably going to end up going to the corner store, because its closer. good proximity makes sure there is healthy avaliable food near you.
  3. self-reliance means whether or not the community is completely independent and does not have to rely on anyone else to get the things that they need.
  4. SUSTAINABILITY-good reason why this one is different from all the rest. It refers to keeping the system going for future generations. This is probably the most important of all the four. I mean do you want your future grandchildren to grow up without this wonderful food system we have now? I don't.
The food system is basically about what is best for you and your needs.

Here is a picture of Juan and Ricky building our green bean trellaces. For each one we make a 3-D ladder and the bean vines just grow up up up.

Brayton St Garden this past summer. Check out our raised beds arent tehy fly?

Hey this is Carisma and Rodney, we're in the business group. About two weeks ago we went to the BLAST conference in Holyoke, Massachusetts. BLAST (Building Local Agriculture Systems Today) is part of the Food Project, a youth and community development organization that does great projects like us! We met with youth from other cities to talk about making food more local and easier to get for everyone. We were interested in being around other youth urban agriculture groups from Brooklyn, Holyoke, Poughkeepse and even Maine. If you want to know more about Blast go to www.the food project.org and look under "Blast youth intiative."
Before we went to the conference in Massachusetts, we went to a panel discussion at the Asareese Community Center for Community Peace Week in Buffalo. It was put on by Buffalo State College and the discussion was about youth and their involvement in economic deveopment. We were the experts so the discussion was real exciting. There was about sixty-five people there! People had some really good questions. I found myself speaking more than I have before in my entire lifetime. So anyways, what we are trying to get across is that the people in Growing Green have made a difference in our community.
"That's All FOlks" . . . . .for today!