Abundant Michigan

Our purpose is to co-create abundance for our members in food, medicine, materials, economy and living water. We support Abundance in all Michigan Communities.

~ AMPY Updates hot off the press

Notes from our last AMPY mtg 1/13/14

1) Purpose of AMPY
a) Creating regenerative livelihood at personal security level, business
(economic), and community levels, i.e. worker-owned community enterprises.
b) What is the structure of AMPY?
i) Holistic mgmt. – Allan Savory – what do we want, envision? This is the
ii) From this, the guilds all operate as parts, which then work out into the
community, and bring info/learning back into system.
2) What are the guilds?
a) Materials – lumber, rope, twine,
b) Energy – alt to fossil fuels – solar, wind, gravity
c) Water – storing, purifying, conserving
d) Growers (mushrooms), garden building
e) Animals (inc. bees)
f) Preservation – fermentation, canning, jams, mead
g) Alt economies – timebank, worker-owned cooperatives
h) Designers – use strengths of guilds in meeting design goals
i) Media, outreach, social events, City Repair, connecting to local politics &
j) Builders – chicken coop prototype, etc.
3) AMPY needs commitment of money and time from each person – how make this
happen? Dues? Time commitments?
i) How raise $ for projects – w/in guild, or entire group, grants, workshop/class
dues. How democratize it so everyone contributing over the long term.
People more invested in coming if they paid for it.
4) Where do we want to implement our projects this year? Dawn Farm (DF)
i) DF trying to grow enough food to feed their clients, not sure how to get there,
learning. Hoophouse owned by Project Grow(?) Our project fits in.
ii) We’re allowed to use part of the area that was gifted to DF to develop. Part
going into Christmas trees. Possibly more land available.
5) What should be done first and where?
a) Field area (~7 ac?) Immediate goal in our field area is to create a nursery/seed
source of perennial and woody plants. Have laid out to keyline design with
water-retention swales 30-40’ apart (bermed areas along swales to be planted
on). About 80% of this has been dug(?). Annual and cover crops will go
between the swales.
i) We need about 10 committed people to manage this area (‘Dawn Farm
guild/team?), plus there will be workdays when we need 50 people to come
out and do big jobs. Have beautiful permaculture design map showing
keyline design and planting areas as well as preliminary plant list we are
b) In other areas, we could start by improving soil w cover crops. Grazing animals.
Trees. Farm animal poop also a resource. Can do mushroom production in
woodlot (also ramps). Small orchard on W side is overgrown; last spring we
started mulching and planting shrubs & perennials.
c) Also triangular area near hoophouse can be AMPY demonstration site, for
example biogas, rocket stove, other permaculture demo.
6) Communication & info-gathering & organization-building:
Getting the info in and out and circulating. What’s the best way to spread info about AMPY, bring info back in from groups/individuals, and motivate people/keep things going? How do we build structure in the group and allow folks to self-identify as willing to bring energy to a guild/project? How do we collect and build on this info? What ideas should we suggest as possibilities to motivate people to the possibilities?
(1) Personal contact: volunteers call 5 people about mtgs, fill in on missed info and on what’s coming up. Also offer rides!
(2) Guild point people/leaders could also serve in this role
(3) Need database of people, personal resources, knowledge of other
resources, and needs. Bridget(?I’m terrible with names) offered to work on
this; Odile will also help.
(4) Google calendar – url needs to be emailed out
(5) Facebook pages – can find by entering “AMPY [space]” in top bar, will show guild pages
(6) Emails – will always go out about meetings, work days, etc to entire email list
(7) Website –
(8) Links to articles already written about AMPY should be on webpage
(9) Survey(s) to enliven people’s imaginations, generate visioning, ideas – build on this to develop our plans. Want to be sure our structure and production is abundant – everyone is getting out at least as much as putting in. Find ways for everyone to feel appreciated, connected, and meet people’s needs for tangible results. [Some tension between wanting to have structure and goals and clear direction vs accepting are in the growth stages, still figuring things out. That’s natural.]
(10) Important to do the things that are your passion, but also to join the
guilds/project where the passion is currently highest. Also important for
smaller guilds to involve those active/larger guilds in goals that benefit
AMPY as a whole.
7) More on 2014 structure:
a) Dawn Farm – will be the nexus point of Ampy this year, place where we can connect and develop co-mgmt and co-ownership. We need people to be committed and to steward the things we are planting/doing there.
i) Monthly mtgs (at Gilbert House, possibly at DF in good weather)– rather than having Jesse prepare the entire presentation, share the load/learning by having several people sign up for 20-30’ mini-presentations or opportunities to get info & input on a concrete project. Goal is to energize people and have everyone get something out of it. [Another idea is to have guilds give updates at each mtg]
ii) Also s/develop network of people state-wide who can circulate around and share the knowledge, especially of more specialized projects (biogas digester, for ex.) There may be enough connected people in MI now for this.
8) Survey – what should be in it? How s/ it be structured? Questions & ideas offered by members:
i) What would need to be there for you to be willing to put in 40 hrs this year in something?
ii) When are you most engaged in this group, when are you least engaged
iii) What are you an expert in now and what would you really like to learn
iv) What ideas do you have for the community and what would be willing to
actually do to make it happen. What would you like to see in the community that would be more attractive? What would you enjoy doing? What needs to happen for this to arise?
v) What are your ideas of embodying care of earth
vi) What would you like to see in the group (example: feeling at home, able to call on someone to help with a particular need)
vii) [May want a greeter who connects with new people]
viii) What are the weakest links in the community at this point? How to get
people to consistently come?
ix) What question would you like to have on this
x) What would you like to see a presentation on – keep track of these and find someone within or outside group who can share this knowledge
xi) People need to see a return on activity. Some people aren’t talkers, really want to see concrete results and definite plans. Return can be learning, but must be concrete. There must be some sort of motivation.
xii) [Everyone likes DF centerpiece idea – physical as well as  knowledge-based return. Work parties should also be structured so that we’re aware of what we’re learning and what the take aways will be – also revisit it at end of workday. Educational outcomes. Does DF have mtg space so we could stay connected to it, see what’s happened – esp in season. Potluck at DF. Could meet in the hoophouse! Call members to see if need a ride.]
xiii)What resources do you have that you can offer
xiv)What is our purpose at DF, over time – everyone needs to know what the potentials are, what they require, timelines. People need to be aware of those coming benefits – this will help them get involved and motivated. So at beg of survey briefly say what it’s about, what AMPY’s plan is for this year, & what long-term vision is
xv) Ask people which guilds they want to be in. What will get you so turned on about this that you’ll put the time in, take a leader role in the guild. People need to see that you’re not spinning your wheels on your own. (therefore it’s important to have specifics)
xvi)What would light up your passion to co-create?
xvii) Will send these survey questions not only to AMPY but also anyone we think might be interested
xviii) Offer some suggestion for each questions to let people see what the
possibilities are
xix)What are the skills of sustainability or autonomy that we want to create for ourselves and our community
b) Practical details for 2014 so far:
i) Put in >2000 plants at DF: Need 30-50 people for workday to show up w
shovels and dig the swales on already flagged contours, with planting scheme already planned out.
ii) Q: How will sharing of nursery stock work? A: Some can be given away unless have only a few and need them for cuttings. Will also keep track of how much work people put in so know who should have priority. Some plants we may need to keep for seeds only (Dunbars Plum, etc.).
iii) Q: How ensure longterm connection to DF. A: We’ve put $ in, will hash out contract this winter. Also considering a cooperative with them. Maybe the clients get involved through the workshops, learning, even if only there for a short time. Even in worst case scenario, could go in and take out all the plants.
iv) Will be picking up stock from Oikos, Indiana Berry, Hartman’s. Anyone wanna go?
v) Scheduling the first planting day. March 29-30. Backup 1st weekend in April. Suggestion to do second big planting in fall.
vi) Mushroom inoculations later in April or May.
vii) Watering – emergency irrigation system for 1st year(?)
viii) Schedule Pot-luck for fun!
ix) Need stewards at DF – woodlot needs tending, back woodlot, open space, demo site. AMPY needs core team of people all on the same page, know the DF plan, so system can continue even if someone goes out of town.
x) Zeal suggesting a separate organizational mtg to get guilds started off. Ask guild co-leaders from last year (without assumption they’ll continue), and anyone else interested in putting energy into a particular guild. Meet,
self-identify co-leaders, other roles, and specific goal for the year. [Q: Can guild leaders mtg be a breakaway mtg at end of next mtg?]
xi) Grower’s Guild mtg January 18th , 2pm, Bona Sera, 200 W Michigan (Michigan
& Washington). Anyone interested in learning about/joining growers guild
welcome! Identify: What do people need to have to grow food abundance for themselves.
xii) Newsletter/blog – website can function this way. Volunteer at each guild mtg should send notes of mtg/workday to Jesse or Monica for them to post.
xiii)Also, how address issue of people signing up for multiple guilds but then not showing up? Up to guilds to develop this, but can consider idea of dues. Everyone gets timebank credit for mtg time!


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This entry was posted on February 25, 2014 by .


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