Land Courtship Workshop at Land Base

A skill-share event exploring innovative approaches to land access.

Land Courtship – trials and tribulations in the quest for mutually co-operative relationships between unequals.

Focus on land seekers with limited savings, experience or track record

Land seekers require security of tenure and sufficient time to learn new skills whilst striving to build a viable business in a very difficult corporate controlled market place. Term contracts can be a double edged sword. Land seekers may seek partnership or investment from the custodian for infrastructure and machinery. Land seekers often need affordable accommodation connected to the land. They require low outgoings for living, the land, water and other capital items necessary for their project. Crucially they need a durable co-operative relationship with the custodian of the land.

Custodians of land are cautious not to be saddled with incompetent game players that are versed in the art of sophistry. Tenancy contracts serve this purpose in more “business” relationships. But in sharing / collaborative relationships custodians will be advised to have rights to remove people that prove to be dreamers rather than diggers with integrity driven by realisable dreams.  Custodians usually expect something tangible in return for the use of land and possibly infrastructure such as polytunnels,  machinery and buildings. Crucially they need a durable co-operative relationship with the users of the land.

Individual situations vary enormously. Experienced farmers / market gardeners with investment capital v aspirants with passion and little else. Land owners with eco / social commitment v retiring farmers or “investors” wanting income and security of their land for future posibilities.

John Yates – who am I?

I’m a DFL who has spent a life time fighting against political / economic / social wrongs – as I see them. I’ve always believed citizens must fight for the future they believe in and not just against corrupt authority. Permaculture for local  food production / sale suggests to me a much wiser way to be with the land and nature, of which we are part.

Goffin Land is my commitment to fighting for a brighter future for our off spring to inherit . It’s part of my commitment to fight against what I believe is wrong with our world.

I’ve spent five years seeking partnerships on Goffin Land, 96 acres of meadow and woodland in Exeter City.  Apart from a couple of expensive false starts I’ve not got beyond an initial “blind date” with the exception of licensing 80 acres of grass to a local Devon family for Devon Reds and sheep. This has mostly been a constructive co-operative arrangement.

What to expect from me on the 7th Oct?

A generalised look at the above realities as they may present to “unequals”. I will briefly sketch some of my experiences then offer attendees the space to have a conversation in small groups – 4 or 5 – to answer some questions that my experience has posed to me. Some examples below. They maybe updated as I reflect on the opportunity to learn from land seekers.

After 20 minutes or so participants can share their thoughts in plenary then swop tables /spaces to chat with others for 20 minutes more –  then share again with all in a closing plenary.

What might be realistic steps and boundaries through a business / social courtship stage?

How might an “engagement” be framed?

What is a realistic time frame to assess the trades offs and synergistic benefits of a trial “marriage”?

How might third parties be involved to give creative structure to a courtship?

More about me

I believe food is a key issue for our society in multiple ways. Control of money supply by a few has created the monster food corporations so destructive of  health, land and biosphere. I believe money is the principle mechanism that in the hands of a few has created the dystopian world enslaving us in chaos and crisis. Control of money creation is central to the control of land by a few and the human conflicts ensuing.

Why should it be in 2017 that never before in the field of human conflict have so few controlled the lives of so many?

Money seems to me to have been a key to human co-operation and evolution. If money creation was controlled by a society aspiring to a permanent culture – Care for the Earth, Care for the People,  Share the surplus –  then what a lovely future we could hand down to coming generations.

Aloha  …..   John Yates 16.9.2017