OCCUPY FARMS GA PROPOSAL
Move out of the parks and onto the farms!
Local farmers are at the heart of the economic crisis. They were our first responders, with truck loads of donated produce. Now the farmers rally again, offering 56 acres in upstate New York and expansion farms in N. Mass, Vermont, Florida, and New Jersey.
Request: The Occupy Farms working group proposes that Occupy Wall Street create a $15,000 fund
specifically for Occupy Farms to access for farm-related budgetary needs. Because of the distance and desire for operational autonomy, once this proposal is passed Occupy Farms will work directly with OWS Accounting in order to access the $15,000. We propose that the following restrictions be placed on that access:
-funds can only be released for projects that fall under the 10 categories enumerated below -before any funds area released, Occupy Farms must create its own accounting process including:
-a written process -democratic inclusion -better accounting practices, including electronic data storage and information security -complete transparency, including weekly audits & universal access to these audit results
-any request that does not comply with the above has to come back to the GA for approval
Farm Details: The upstate NY farmland includes plenty of cleared land, an apple orchard and pine trees, a
150 foot on-site well and bordering stream on the NYC watershed, a 2 story house and a future greenhouse site.
Mission As the Occupy Farm, we are making a commitment to:
● provide wholesome and delicious food for Occupations in the region ● provide a meeting ground for camps visiting from across the world; ● host annual harvest festivals with music, teach-ins and craft workshops; ● promote biodiverse and organic or transitional-organic farming practices; ● cultivate a stronger connection with the natural environment; ● recognize the farm is located upon historical land of the Iroquois federation, and hold this knowledge mindfully as we occupy the land and benefit from what it produces; ● protect & reclaim farmland such that it cannot be developed; ● provide a teachable, sustainable, horizontal farming model; ● establish an Occupy-affiliated Farmer’s market at Zuccotti Park and all over the city; ● respect the existing community and neighbors around the property; ● create a model that can be replicated elsewhere in the country, including a mobile team of farmers and organizers to help establish other projects as well as literature — “Building from the Ground Up” to support other start-up projects ● document this process in a complete, meaningful and transparent way ● place OWS activism on the front-line of the global fracking debate ● partner with other organizations like Farmers Against Hunger, the New York Coalition
Against Hunger, Food First, Occupy the Food System, Slow Food USA and others, NOFA, etc.
Open Meetings: The Occupied Farms team consists of farmers, naturalists, mycologists, bee keepers, gardeners, environmentalists, writers, librarians and more. We encourage all to come to our next meeting Sunday 5pm at 60 Wall St. We hope to take up 30-40 people on our next farm trip Wed Dec. 14th and need more people for our other sites as well. Currently we have been meeting in person for over three weeks, have made various announcements at GA’s, attended multiple Spokes Councils, and have over 50 people on our email listserv. We also have potentially dozens of farms and multiple occupations interested in getting involved in the near future.
Projects: We already completed one self-financed recon mission involving 17 people over 3-4 days.
We are asking the GA for access to $15,000 in start-up funding for future trips and immediate projects until we become self-sufficient, which we hope will happen by January 1st. Projects include:
-Sorting scraps heaps into salvageable metals, garbage, etc… -Gathering stack/cord/split fire wood -Digging a root cellar and preparing a basement for food storage -Demolishing a barn and constructing a winter greenhouse
-Site and set up tent/kitchen/bathroom etc -Explore and draw maps and flora/fauna surveys
In order to do this, we want to be prepared to pay for: 1) -Tents, tarps and heating equip (beyond what is in SIS): estimated at $2,000 2) -Greenhouse Construction: estimated at $2,000 3) -Truck/work vehicle: estimated at $2,000 4) -Transportation costs for 3 weeks: estimated at $1,000 5) -Work gear: gloves, boots,chainsaw, shovels, spades, etc: estimated at $1,000 6) -Food for 3 weeks: estimated at $1,000 7) -Kitchenware and bed frames for 30-50 people: estimated at $700 8) -Medical supplies/medic: estimated at $300 9) -Solidarity outreach fund for other Occupy-related farms estimated at $4,000. 10) -Miscellaneous fund estimated at $1,000
The Occupy Farms accounting group plans to have a written process stating that we will not purchase any good, whether glove or greenhouse, without first exploring the following three options: donations, re- purposed/recycled options, and DIY alternatives, with a priority on sourcing from local communities. We pledge not to access the $10k fund until this process is established, tentatively by Wednesday Dec. 14th. We also plan on having weekly report backs to OWS showing project progress and full financial disclosure.