The Hinterland Collective: A Vision for Community Abundance, and Realising I Have More to Give than I Thought

in Abundance Tribe4 months ago

Today I spend three hours chatting to a guy who came to collect some hops. He was so thrilled by the giant cones that dangled from the wires that tensioned the vegetable garden poles in place that he was almost crying with excitement. Then he spotted the wormwood, which he wanted a cutting off. He remembered eating it as a kid - that naughtiness that associates wormwood with absinthe, despite the fact it was the ethanol that was poisoning people, not artemisa. He made mead, and wanted to try an artemisa mead, which sounded amazing. We then talked about gotu kola, as we chewed its leaves and chickens squawked around us. I gave him fire cider to taste and we talked about the difference between balms and salves, and I gave him a tin of calendula balm. We didn't stop talking for a long time. I told him about my desire to start a herbal medicine course, become qualified and educate people on folk medicines - growing herbs, making tinctures and soaps and balms and all those lost arts that we really should know. He laughed happily, saying 'like a village witch?' and I couldn't help but laugh back in a kind of recognition. Yes, that's exactly it - from when I was a teenager, I always identified with the 'witch' - the one with the herbs drying from the rafters and herbal potions on the shelf, and a hare as a familiar.

I spend a few hours in the morning talking to my friends who wanted to start the alternative economy in town. They've started their Free Stand - a honesty system whereby you drop off fruit and vegetables, seeds and eggs and the like. A community abundance project, a food resilience dream. The council is supportive of it - they're running a community leadership program where they are encouraging people to do things just like this. I didn't end up going because I've been flat out stressed with work, but hope to do it next year. 'Tom' (as I call him here, for anonymity) is keen for me to help, because I get so excited by the prospect, and have lots of good ideas and practical skills. We talk about ideas, and how to ground them in practical ways. A logo, a name, a film, social media, posters, engaging with community, and so on. A quick visit to pick up cucumbers turned into a few hours. Tom is so keen to have me on board 'as you have so many skills'. It's been a long process to realise that maybe I can be part of building something instead of waiting for others to do it. He feels the same about his own rule, and so does his wife, Skye. 'We can't wait for anyone else to build it. We have to be the ones', she says. She brings out some insanely delicious dried pears that had been tossed in agave syrup and coconut oil and sesame seeds and caramelised in the oven.

Going home, I brainstorm names and come up with a possible, whip up a logo on canva, and arrive at 'The Hinterland Collective'. Tom loves it so much when I email him he sends me three voice messages on Facebook saying so. We do live in the hinterland, so it suits, and 'collective' sounds a bit more serious and cool than 'co-op', which has associations with hippiedom. Though we're fine with that, we want something more friendly for the lay person. The logos below are rough, but they're the beginnings of a recognisable identity and reflect a little of the thinking behind what we're trying to achieve. We love the idea of a collective - collective experience, collective input, collective abundance. - in skills, food, labour, love.

And I'm excited. Maybe going travelling isn't where I need to be putting my energies. Maybe it's building community in the way I'm building it in small ways now. I love the idea of a space with a kitchen and garden where we can run workships. Make your own kombucha. Make your own kraut. How to keep bees. Making your own soap - and so on, you know? Skills that have been lost. And I love, love the idea of teaching people about herbs - practical backyard herbalism that needs to be revived. I'm an educator by trade, soit feels like something I should be using as service to the community of which I'm part. I've always been passioante about herbs and it seems more and more that's where I'm being led.

Maybe being leader of Natural Medicine on HIVE has been a kind of confidence testing ground.

I'm certainly realising I do have some skills I can bring to a collective, and that these idealistic dreams of mine are also the idealistic dreams of others, and that together, maybe we can.

This post was written in response to the Abundance Tribe question: Given your talents, passions and values. How could you use these resources to serve, to help, to contribute, to the environment, to other living beings and /or to different causes? Anyone can answer it - post in Abundance Tribe community by 25th March.

With Love,

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A lot of people in my community need to get back to basics when it comes to simple gardening. They are fascinated when I tell them why their tomatoes are dying too fast or why they are probably watering their chilies too much making the leaves curl.
They say we live in a developing country here, and yet it seems everyone is blessed with their own garden/yard, but not planting anything on it and being self sufficient.
Because of this and probably a strong need for self-interest the Free Stand wouldn't work here. But I do believe in the concept.
In fact, my brother in law has started the same thing, but for books, a free library of sorts, where you can drop of your own books and lend some yourself, completely based on an honor system. There has been a small amount of interest, but the ball is rolling.

I still remember those long conversations with random strangers like it was yesterday. Nowadays I only have those here on Hive. :)

That reminds me, around 2009 in Portland, Oregon, my friend, Nicholas Littlejohn, was showing this community garden and then he showed me this library mail box.

He explained to me the idea was you drop off books in the mail box and other people can come in and borrow the books, read them, put their own books in the box in exchange if they wish.

People should consider ways to trade more and especially alternative methods for making transactions as the dollar and other fiat dies more and more through hyperinflation and other things.

On top of that, people should reconsider how vital it is to invest first in local communities, to invest in family, friends, neighbors, those we love, those we care about, those we choose to prioritize first, and there should be an emphasis on people who are actually living around us in real life as much as possible.

Of course, it is also good to support people online globally, people around the world, as we like, especially those who are of the same vibration.

Travel can be fun, I enjoy travel.

But building a home, a local community base or head quarters, is a lasting legacy that inspires future generations for years to come.

 4 months ago 

Absolutely perfect said!!!

people should reconsider how vital it is to invest first in local communities, to invest in family, friends, neighbors, those we love, those we care about, those we choose to prioritize first, and there should be an emphasis on people who are actually living around us in real life as much as possible.

I could not agree more! And it's more important than ever - somehow we've lost this connection that could make us a lot happier than we are.



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It seems to me one of the best professions in the world, educator. And when it comes to cooperating to improve the environment and for communities to learn this kind of life, it is spectacular. For my part you have my support and I wish you the success you deserve, because you deserve that and more. I love the idea, here in my country, especially in the city where I live, there was a large collective of culture and from within we were about to create a collective for the environment, we had similar ideas to Tom's, but unfortunately it was not possible. Perhaps it was the poor organization we had and that not everyone was taken seriously. I do not know.

 4 months ago 

Thanks so much! It feels so good to have you say that. I know what you mean about poor organisation and not being taken seriously - we're trying to address that, and I think we have to stand firm with this vision and keep pushing it so eventually people see it's true value. Thankyou beautiful for your lovely comment.

You're welcome, I hope to continue to witness your beautiful work, please!

Like the logo on the left best. And being the homebody I am, I think staying and teaching is better than traveling... :))

Community building is a calling; doing it, one helps others but also helps oneself. It takes great effort and greater faith in the people who form part of the community. The only way to find out if this is for you is to do it because, more than the reason and rationale behind it, building is about connecting with people and putting ideas into practical use. Being an educator and leader of the Natural Medicine community makes you extremely qualified to help build a community. Good luck.

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The way you write is so comfortable and pleasurable to read. I find myself relating with you, imagining life through your eyes, seeing the hops and wormwood, drifting into your consciousness, floating by like a butterfly. What a treat.

Totally agree 😁

 4 months ago 

Aw, shucks!

 4 months ago 

Aw shucks, stop it. I feel such gratitude for this comment! You see my butterfly me.

Your logos look great! Lots of love on your continued adventures Ms. Witchy 💗

 4 months ago 

I don't mind being witchy, that's such a compliment to me!

Ola bruja sister 😃 Thank you for letting us in on your vision, I am so pleased to read this, following your post where you had started to kick off in your mind the collective concept you wished to have in your community! This is such a major step forward, look at you creating a visual identity for that already, whooop way to go 😻
I actually like both of your designs; I'm sure you'll chose the one that is right 🌟
Much Love to you, and please never stop updating us on your beautiful journey! 🌹

 4 months ago 

Thanks so much! I'm going to edit it a bit as the wedgetailed eagle isn't creative commons, but the best thing is I know an indigenous person who might be able to do a black cockatoo for us which would be even better! It's all so exciting and I'm sooo feeding off Tom's energy which is making me belive this can happen.

Ah coool, also uniting with indigenous people and communities is for sure bound to flourish into something beautiful 💚🙏
Amazing keep the momentum, hehe I don't doubt it will happen, it's just a matter of time 😘

Loving the logos! Simple and elegant. I think I steer towards the flower design over the bird. Not sure what it is but it has a sophisticated appeal to it which the other doesn't.

 4 months ago 

I agree, but most like the bird as it's linked to indigenous history in the town. I am going to play around with it more first. Thanks !!

Oh well you didn't mention that! I have to agree with them then, the link to the towns history is important and it seems like you have a good basis to go on from there. Looking forward to seeing the final product!

Woohoo so happy to hear all of this, this is what you are all about and definitely where your talents lie. Here's to forming collective's (ours is the Rising Collective) and following our dreams. Thanks for this wonderful response xxxx

One thing I love about you @riverflows is your ingenuity.

Thinking back to when we were brainstorming NM, you were so organized and on the ball with the start-up of it all. The logo design and everything. This is where I feel you are in your element and I can see the same level of commitment and passion for the Hinterland Collective.

Both logos are fantastic and I know you will be the driving force keeping the collective organized and flowing.

Lots of love to you 🙏🤗💚💚

 4 months ago 

That is so beautiful! I think you will find building that community collective will be more rewarding than traveling which is so restricted now anyways!
Wonderful that you have made these new connections and finding a place to use your many skills and talents!
All the best in the development of your new endeavors!