The GRUB Cooperative
Who is the GRUB Cooperative?
We live in intentional community; a collective of resources connecting communities in our community to food in one way or another. Chris, Collin, Corrin, Eric, Francine, Greg, Jonah, Katrina, Lee, Max, Maya, Orrin, Ron, Sammey, Sherri, Stephanie, Tim. We are exploring solutions; learning how to be stewards of the land that we inhabit; conserving the resources we have; consuming less, wasting less, and living more. In teasing out what sustainability means to us and the reality of what that looks like, we keep pushing ahead to be pragmatic in our lifestyle, as well as being innovative, receptive and adaptive in our approach. Life is always changing. So are we individually and collectively. The glue that binds us is our shared values in how we live, and how we want to live, focusing on the planting, tending to, harvesting, processing distribution and consumption of food. And taking good care of ourselves, the land, the plants, animals and our neighbors. For now, for us, for our children, for you and family and friends to come.
We consist of: an architect, academics, an arborist, artists, activists, advocates, bicycle contraptionists, birders, botanists, builders, cooks, consultants, co-creators, dancers, designers, entrepreneurs, ethnobotanists, farmers, facilitators, a horticulturist, healers, practicers of husbandry and wifery, inventors, landscapers, leaders, mentors, meaning-makers, mechanics, a mycologist, musicians, managers, networkers, organizers, a programmer, philosophers, permaculturists, teachers, volunteers, and welders.
We have become mentors and leaders in our community and for ourselves in supporting our small local economy where food, land and bicycles are a central part of our lives and who we are. We depend on each other and our bikes for activities ranging from leisurely commuting to long-distance trips across the country; from exercising to hauling recycling, compost and food; from making art and organizing community events to converting some of our electrical dependency into pedal-powered generators, household appliances and yard tools. We are idealistic and realistic enough to endure some discomfort to go without in order to live as sustainably low-impact as possible.
I help draw things like squares and shapes. I make popcorn and help catch chickens so that I can pet them and sing pretty songs to them. I enjoy looking at things and I can spin on the chair really fast.- Maya
I help people do what they need to do. I make popcorn and food like broccoli. I help by putting it on the plate for you. I help by coloring things so that others will remember what to do. I help by watching Collin and Orrin. I enjoy petting the kittens and dogs and picking flowers.- Corrin
What does the GRUB Cooperative do?
Most all of us work jobs outside of GRUB so we can pay our bills in addition to our shared expenses such as rent. Collectively we purchase food from farmers markets and local businesses that we are not currently producing and processing on our land or in our home. We also pay into a project fund. We decide, based on consensus, how to allocate these funds towards a land, animal or house projects, which originates through a formal proposal.
Besides pooling our financial resources, we pool our labor to work collectively on projects in the house and on the land. A good example is relocating our chicken tractors and harvesting or weeding the house garden. Outside our paying jobs, our house and land chores, we work and volunteer on and off the land, as well as in our GRUB Non-Profit Programs described in depth later. (link) Some of our projects include but are not limited to: aquaculture; meat chickens; involvement in city council meetings, the creation of groups such as the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for the protection of the Green Line; researching grants & stewardship for land acquisition; kinetic kitchen appliances; culinary herbs; medicine wheel; fundraising; solar energy projects; education; public speaking; advocating for local economy via community supported agriculture; disseminating information; networking; organizing; facilitating; bike repair; programming; creating; and changing and updating our website and facebook page.
How does the GRUB Cooperative work?
All of us have a weekly rotating chore that involves caring for the house, land and animals.
Cooking and Cleaning
There is a fixed cooking and dishes chore which tend to switch up when the seasons change. Dinner meals are prepared Sunday through Thursday by a team of either two or three, and dishes are done by the same or different team of two or three. Breakfasts and lunches can be collective efforts based on people's schedules. Sometimes we do what we can to get out the door, and at others we can check-in that day and plan a meal to feed all parties. Francine prepares a big lunch for people working on the land that day, and if she knows who will be around, all are invited to join. If one is late to arrive and there are leftovers, they would be in luck! Every day is different, and one never knows who will be sitting at the dinner table.
We also contribute monthly to our group food fund. Some of the food we bring into the house comes from our CSA share, our house garden, the Saturday Farmer's Market, and from other local sources.
Guidelines for purchasing local foods include items coming no more than 100 miles away (close enough so we can pedal to visit and get to know our farmers), although preferably we want to support growers within city limits whom utilize organically sustainable methods, and from small-scale family local farms. The food we buy also has to have a story that is written up and placed into a binder of food stories. An item may be added or removed from the food list through house consensus at any time through the use of a proposal and the structure of a house business meeting.
Locally loved and delightfully delicious. Milled by hand, pedaled by foot. Melting and nutritious, homemade and spicy. Colorful yet simple. An agreed staple; organic and unprocessed. Given and shared; foraged and gathered. Nourishing healthy life energy for the future regeneration of this generation. Taking comfort in a core of circular community uniting valued native traditions with resourceful bellies and finding a place to find enough. Most of all, who we are.
Sundays tend to be the day we spend at home and on the land. It's the day where all of us can pool our efforts to accomplish a task, catch up on that week's chore, process food, and enjoy our company. It's a day of rest and catch-up. Sunday nights after dinner we have house meetings. They alternate between a business and a feelings meeting. Business meetings is where we will discuss proposals posted by people in the community and or folks in the co-op. This is also the platform from which we can discuss what we are doing, how we are doing it, how it is working and how it can be better. Feelings meetings are a time we set aside to talk about concerns, and for those concerns to be heard. We practice non-violent communication and consensus decision making. Both types of meetings have an agenda that hangs for one week so everyone can write down topics and an estimated time frame. Each meeting has a facilitator, time keeper, speaker? list, and note taker.
Group Brainstorming Activity
As we approached our second year anniversary and Francine decided it was time to revisit our Heart Statement and for all of us to question and answer the following four questions as a group activity for our Feelings Meeting. We'd like to share with you: what this place means to us; what led us here; what some of our personal challenges are; and what keeps us here.
What does this place mean to you?
Love, community, purpose, food, land, freedom, learning, teaching, growing, sharing, inspiration, comfort, fun, trees, wildlife, plants, cats, dogs, chickens, pigs, slow food, responsibility, resource, heart, passion, rebellion, support for each others' intentions; home, beauty, peace, fun, parties, opportunity, shelter, sanctuary, play, solace, common vision, greater understanding of our existence, reducing consumption, values, local movement, sustainability, resourcefulness, skills, conservation, innovation, cooperation, honesty, trust, togetherness, abundance, caring, family, babies, green nature, flower space, enthusiasm, friendship, creativity, a place to explore.
It's a place to build skills that we can use for a lifetime. Seeing the devotion my friends and I put into building a future. Inspiration to try new things. To steer away from convention. With the guide of intuition, with open arms out we will catch and be caught. With open hearts we will shine light on limitless possibilities. Home is where the heart is. I want to feel home and safe and comfortable. It is a place of wonderful starts and beginnings, and creating something new and magical that inspires others.
What led you to be here?
Intuition; living within our means; contributing to a solution; manifesting dreams; living with integrity. To be around people with a desire to use less and with whom are willing to endure that discomfort. Inspiration, learning to communicate, wanting to build a future together in community. Learning, bicycles; friends; passion; individuality; heart space; community; shared vision; support; a sustainable future; the challenge; sustenance; a common belief of what is important. The land and people; to live on open land; to learn how to grow food; to pursue my dreams. Allowing my intuition to guide me; a spirit guided me. Interconnectedness; family; resource-sharing; support; togetherness; group dynamics; learning to communicate and work with others towards a common goal. To get out of routine; love; self stuff; to create a place where I can live happily for the rest of my life. Too much of what I don't want; tired of waiting for someone else to take care of it for me. A spirit guided me here; trying something new; stepping out of what was comfortable and challenging myself; wanting more from life.
What are some personal challenges?
Communication; feeling like I always have to be doing something; a lot of people always around; space; being able to say no; claustrophobic; letting go; mental blocks, pride, ego, living habits; enthusiasm; asking for help; gratitude; voice. To be alone - what that means and feels for me. Cooperation and expectations; common ground; energy and free time; overcoming perceived limitations; enriching personal interactions; hard to take personal time; finding and taking personal space; initiating new projects and knowing what is going on as to know what to do without having to always check-in. The kitchen is small. Letting go of things; real life; tired; too little time; motivation; ups and downs; computer; finances; time management; staying true to myself; walking without fear; communication with so many people; staying focused; having a clean house.
What keeps us here?
An opportunity to grow, play and be active in community. Purpose, food, heart, land, passion, love, freedom, rebellion, people, friends, passion, individuality, and heart space. It feels right. I believe this village-community model serves as a great example for the future as we grow as a community. Land, animals, personal freedom, growth; expanding opportunities and abilities, growing friendships and determination. Comfort, the concept of using less. Less judgmental surroundings. Integrity, sharing, community, learning, growing, the present moment. Bliss. It is where I want to be. Support; quality of people; rich and abundant lifestyle. Family, team playing; opportunities; being a part of something important - a movement. Inspiration, pride, love. Collin, friendship, excitement, convenience, frugality, hope, and vision. Many hands makes light work. Beautiful people that inspire me to bring my best efforts. Potential to break the shackles of land ownership. Wanting to be a part of greatness. Good company. Power in numbers.
Beyond any boundary, constriction, conflict or whatever - What could this place be?
Alternative construction on the land. Off-grid. We are mentors and could continue to model what is possible. Offer internships for international exchanges. Cleaner, more organized, safe; free from the man. Pretty signs and songs. An example for others. A wonderful place to raise children. A place that conveys a qualitative message that is frit and interpreted by all who visit it. A resource in the way of simplicity and self-sufficiency for all who care to make use of it. A refuge for all of us to dwell in peace and happiness. Permanent. A farm feeding 100 families. An orchard; animals for meat production; livestock; dairy; technology; solar; lots of children. Spiritual health; beautiful gardens, production of useful tools; clothing, bicycles. A working community. Community education filled with animals, greenery, beautiful buildings. A chance for all to be able to live off the land and not rely on outside jobs.
A Village. Exploring what works. Fully off the grid. Making enough food to sustain without needing outside sources. A celebration of living in freedom and abundance. Owning and living within the product of our labors. Defining a way of life in the absence of all forms of coercion. A village of free people. A place for people to return to; a place that they receive all their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs wile also allowing all the other members of the community, both human and nonhuman to meet their needs too. A complete self-sufficient village - community. School for children; university for our global neighbors; a camp; outdoor education, an educational living center and capacitation building for all. Faculty. Eco-homes. A living laboratory. Offer workshops. Non-profit with funding. Day care. A place where no one is oppressed. Where we can be free and interdependent.
1525 Dayton Rd.
Chico, CA 95928