New York Investment Network



Pitching Help Desk


Testimonials

"We have already had one investor for $25K, and another who is very involved in the food business, who could be a funder on a much larger level. So we are very pleased, and offer our thanks."
Bruce J.

 BLOG >> Recent

Commonwork Business Model [Permaculture
Posted on September 3, 2015 @ 10:08:00 AM by Paul Meagher

I was flipping through Introduction to Permaculture (2002) by Bill Mollison & Reny Mia Slay and found their motivation for a commonwork business model quite interesting:

For commercial orchards, grain and seed crop, market gardens, and small animal systems (poultry, pigs), small areas of 5 acres or less work better than large acreages devoted to single or even double cropping. It is impossible to completely mulch, water, maintain and raise a large variety of plants and animals for multiple functions and multiple yeilds over a large area (as can be accomplished on a Zone I or Zone II level). Extensive systems, therefore, tend to simplify.

However, this factor can be overcome by a "commonwork" model, where families or groups agree to divide up the work and the products, so that one is responsible for the orchard, while another grows green crop beneath or runs poultry. Someone else might bring bees in during flowering for pollination (and honey production), and manage the firewood crop interplanted with the fruit and nut tree crops.

Smaller systems are usually easily managed by a farm family with seasonal helpers, and provide high yeilds due to mixed cropping and intensive management (pp. 142-143).

Commonwork is often viewed as a way to achieve superior functional stacking. The business is designed to support multiple functions/yeilds with lots of beneficial interactions between these functions/yeilds. The Commonwork model has been very successfully applied to farming by Joel Salatin of Polyface Inc. He runs a dizzying number of businesses under the umbrella of Polyface Inc. Salatin prefers to talk about commonwork in terms of "stacking fiefdoms" and I would encourage you to listen to his Permaculute Voices presentation at this link to learn more (note: Joel is an exceptional speaker and his business ideas are often applicable beyond farming):

Stacking Fiefdoms: Creating Multiple Complementary Businesses Under the Umbrella of an Exisiting Business

Another successful farm enterprise that uses a sort of commonwork model is Freedom Farms. The farm family consists of a large number of brothers with each brother assigned to their own separate but related fiefdoms.

I hope Joel's talk and these examples whet your appetitie to investigate in more detail the commonwork business model. I think a commonwork business model can be structured in different ways but Bill's version of what a commonwork model ideally consists of would be a reference point to compare other versions to.

Permalink 

 Archive 
 

Archive


 November 2020 [1]
 September 2020 [1]
 June 2020 [4]
 May 2020 [1]
 April 2020 [2]
 March 2020 [1]
 February 2020 [1]
 January 2020 [1]
 December 2019 [1]
 November 2019 [2]
 October 2019 [2]
 September 2019 [1]
 July 2019 [1]
 June 2019 [2]
 May 2019 [2]
 April 2019 [5]
 March 2019 [4]
 February 2019 [3]
 January 2019 [3]
 December 2018 [4]
 November 2018 [2]
 September 2018 [2]
 August 2018 [1]
 July 2018 [1]
 June 2018 [1]
 May 2018 [5]
 April 2018 [4]
 March 2018 [2]
 February 2018 [4]
 January 2018 [4]
 December 2017 [2]
 November 2017 [6]
 October 2017 [6]
 September 2017 [6]
 August 2017 [2]
 July 2017 [2]
 June 2017 [5]
 May 2017 [7]
 April 2017 [6]
 March 2017 [8]
 February 2017 [7]
 January 2017 [9]
 December 2016 [7]
 November 2016 [7]
 October 2016 [5]
 September 2016 [5]
 August 2016 [4]
 July 2016 [6]
 June 2016 [5]
 May 2016 [10]
 April 2016 [12]
 March 2016 [10]
 February 2016 [11]
 January 2016 [12]
 December 2015 [6]
 November 2015 [8]
 October 2015 [12]
 September 2015 [10]
 August 2015 [14]
 July 2015 [9]
 June 2015 [9]
 May 2015 [10]
 April 2015 [10]
 March 2015 [9]
 February 2015 [8]
 January 2015 [5]
 December 2014 [11]
 November 2014 [10]
 October 2014 [10]
 September 2014 [8]
 August 2014 [7]
 July 2014 [6]
 June 2014 [7]
 May 2014 [6]
 April 2014 [3]
 March 2014 [8]
 February 2014 [6]
 January 2014 [5]
 December 2013 [5]
 November 2013 [3]
 October 2013 [4]
 September 2013 [11]
 August 2013 [4]
 July 2013 [8]
 June 2013 [10]
 May 2013 [14]
 April 2013 [12]
 March 2013 [11]
 February 2013 [19]
 January 2013 [20]
 December 2012 [5]
 November 2012 [1]
 October 2012 [3]
 September 2012 [1]
 August 2012 [1]
 July 2012 [1]
 June 2012 [2]


Categories


 Agriculture [72]
 Bayesian Inference [14]
 Books [15]
 Business Models [24]
 Causal Inference [2]
 Creativity [7]
 Decision Making [15]
 Decision Trees [8]
 Design [37]
 Eco-Green [4]
 Economics [12]
 Education [10]
 Energy [0]
 Entrepreneurship [65]
 Events [2]
 Farming [20]
 Finance [25]
 Future [15]
 Growth [18]
 Investing [25]
 Lean Startup [10]
 Leisure [5]
 Lens Model [9]
 Making [1]
 Management [9]
 Motivation [3]
 Nature [22]
 Patents & Trademarks [1]
 Permaculture [36]
 Psychology [2]
 Real Estate [2]
 Robots [1]
 Selling [11]
 Site News [19]
 Startups [12]
 Statistics [3]
 Systems Thinking [3]
 Trends [7]
 Useful Links [3]
 Valuation [1]
 Venture Capital [5]
 Video [2]
 Writing [2]