So this article is inspiring me to REALLY WANT to start or participate in creating a hyper-local manufacturing and growing co-op. Who's already doing stuff like this in the Twin Cities that i could connect with?

Need a table? Come make one with people. Know how to repair stuff? Be available for people. Need food? Come get it if you live near the co-op, want to help grow food? Come do that. Surely something is already out there? If not, let's Fucking Make It.

@june This is my fucking dream and how I want to spend my life once I'm able to. I want to start a recycling and composting coop, a bamboo coop, a mycelium coop - any way I can make value for people out of what's already in their communities, without buying anything from the capitalist system. I just want to start one, work there until I have a good amount of money saved up and a team of worker-owners who know how to run everything, then go start another one

By the way, you may also be interested in the Repair Cafe concept:

@socalledunitedstates @june I'm being thinking about applying for the next round of open source ecology fellowships to do basically this too

@june I would like to do something like this, too. I've volunteered for Free Geek, building used Linux computers, Cycles for Change repairing used bicycles, and Good Grocer a non-profit grocery store -- all in Minneapolis. But to have something like a maker space where you can sew clothes, do woodworking, make a solar oven or windmill and learn welding or exchange seeds would be fantastic. I'm building a library of free project plans and info for the solarpunk revolution.

@ewankeep @june yes yes yes! And for it to connect in with anarchist, solarpunk socialist kind of stuff already happening locally

@june Well, I was planning on taking the dirt I got from excavating the area where I'm gonna put a patio and put in some bushes for fruit this spring.

@paulference backyard food growing is great! We need more!

@june I think the eventual plan is to turn the whole yard into a garden. Mainly because I hate mowing, even though weeding is much harder work. XD

@june is there a hackerspace or makerspace in Minneapolis? I’ve never seen one that also has a community garden as well, usually because the size and use requirements tend to put them in semi-industrial areas

@sashakovich @june ya I'm trying to make time to get over to visit them!

@sashakovich @june in general though makerspaces kinda lean towards frivolity? Or "hobbies" rather than seriously decoupling from capitalism

@June @june Depends a lot on the people you talk to. I’ve met folks at ours who are using it as home base for their small business, and people who have dropped everything to try and Be helpful (and I try to be that person when the opportunity presents itself). But yeah, big projects for other people are enough of a time investment that I haven’t found anyone managing to convince groups to participate In a steady way

@sashakovich sure. my experience isn't that broad and i haven't tried it out yet specifically here. So I've got high hopes.

@June Fingers crossed! There's a guy at ours who goes out of his way to visit makerspaces at any new city he passes through; they tend to develop their own little foibles. Some of them are charming. Some of them should probably be burnt to the ground and try again.Here's hoping yours falls in category one!

@June @sashakovich @june I looked into a local maker space a while ago but the monthly user fees were too much for me to afford.

@ewankeep @June @june yeah, there’s a variety in my area. One of them was $150 a month, and I laughed and laughed and laughed. One regularly sent me emails offering me a free lifetime membership if I just donated a one time fee of$7600. (It’s closed now) Another would waive my membership free if I would volunteer in the space 12 hours a month. My preferred one offers 6 month scholarships if you are persistent enough to hound the guy responsible for giving them out. It’s... a spread

@ewankeep @June @sashakovich what would be a way such a place could pay for utilities and such and just basically exist for the benefit of the community, i wonder?

@june @June @sashakovich Free Geek refurbishes old computers and sells them for cheap in their (non-profit) store. $45 -$200 generally. But they make more money from recycling metals. That's what pays the rent. The work trade option is where you get store credit for x # hours volunteered. 24 hrs volunteer work will get you a complete but fairly basic computer. The volunteers build computers to sell in the shop and do the scrap recycling.

@june @June @sashakovich Cycles for Change is a local nonprofit community bike shop. They work in a similar manner as Free Geek. They have a nonprofit store where they sell used bicycles but they have a work trade program where you help fix up old bikes for the store and you get your own bike at the end. They also have a bike library for indigent people who need a bike - they work with shelters and halfway homes i think. There must be some grant money for that

@june @June @sashakovich Good Grocer is a non profit grocery store. It works like old healthfood coops used to - workers volunteer so many hours a month and get a 25% discount on already discounted food. They get a lot of their food donated from overruns from other stores and i think they get grants, too. they started in the basement of a church as an alternative to the usual charity or food pantry model. people don't want handouts, they want dignity.

@june @June @sashakovich i think the commonality is to get free, donated or used materials as much as possible. Free Geek gets a lot of corporate donations and gives some of those computers to schools and stuff. Cycles for Change and Free Geek have church or school donation drives for bikes/computers. Cycles for Change also gets some bikes from police or campus bike impounds.

@june @June @sashakovich the commonality in approach is to have a store where anyone can buy stuff. have volunteers who can get items for free or discount in exchange for work. get as much materials donated as possible and maybe work a sideline in scrap recycling. and to have some people who qualify for free stuff, like poor students, seniors or similar.

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