Another great experience with CoFed! Jerrard, Amelia, Brian, and myself all had the pleasure of taking a road trip to beautiful Hawthorne Valley Farm in NY to join up with other students across the East Coast striving for student led cafes.
The seven days spent on this biodynamic farm in Ghent were full of workshops, delicious food, skill sharing, and getting to know students from all over the United States who share the passion for sustainable food and cooperative ethics. We met people who have helped organize, run, or are starting food co-ops at:
It was so amazing to connect with everyone else out there working to start a cooperative on their campus, and that there are already so many different initiatives out there!
The workshops covered topics such as: history of cooperatives, existing student co-op models, non-violent communication, recruitment and retention, pilot projects, organizational technology, campaigning and organizing, finances and accounting, creating business plans, and finding a space. It was inspiring to hear everyone’s stories and ideas!
Outside the workshops, we toured the farm, shopped at the farm store, waded in the river, and prepared meals. At night, we did everything from climbing Banjo Mountain, swimming in a pond with monster-sized catfish, watching fireflies light up a field, and circling around a campfire, to stargazing and sharing stories.
We came back from the 14 hour drive feeling… inspiregized.