Money & Food ....Otherwise!

Money & Food ...Otherwise!

Last Sunday’s CSA event on Savings pools was most enjoyable and successful. Some 20-odd people from different walks of life, from both the Wairarapa and Wellington, listened to Peter Luiten from Living Economies explaining how savings pools can help communities use money positively to build their own lives and the community at the same time.  To me it was very inspirational; we have become so accustomed to using credit cards and borrowing money for every small and large thing we think we need/want right now!

Some interesting points I learned about savings pools:

  • You do not need lots of cash to be a successful member of a savings pool or for a savings pool to be successful;
  • We are here to help each other and nourish the community;
  • Money in the pool keeps on growing and is being used all the time to help everyone forward;
  • It is a very positive way of dealing with money. Where we learned from our parents to save up for something before you buy it, these days children learn that when you want something there is a credit card for anything and everything.
  • You save up a nest egg while in the process of helping each other.
  • It is positive money, it is fun.

Savings pool money is quality money.  Just like cheap (fast) food you have to assume with fast money that something had to give in the process of creating it. It is like our concept of growing: it takes effort and time for crops to grow into nutritious quality food. We can throw cheap fertilisers on them and make it grow faster and earn quicker bucks in the meantime, but it does not have the same taste, nor does it have the same health effects for our bodies, and it will have leached nutrients into the soil to the detriment of the soil and the wider environment.  

Fast, high-interest-earning money grows faster as a result of someone(s), something(s), or some place(s) becoming worse off.  Quality Soil, Quality Food, Quality Money, Quality Communities are all linked.

Two groups were formed at the end of the meeting, one for the Wairarapa and one for Wellington, with the idea of starting a pool.  If you and/or your friends/family would like to be involved or want to learn more, here are some useful links:  Savings Pools on Seven Sharp and Radio New Zealand talks to Phil Stevens about Savings Pools

Helen Dew, member of Living Economies, is happy to discuss any of your questions. Her contact details are: Helen Dew, LIVING ECONOMIES Educational Trust at She suggests that you can also find more details at Living Economies, here,  with some interesting interviews on Peak Moment with Nicole Foss & Laurence Boomert.  A detailed commentary is recorded on their 3-part DVD set, available from Living Economies, here. Nicole’s popular earlier set of 4 is available here.

And then there was food!  ....Otherwise!

Wageningen University in the Netherlands hosted recently a conference called “Food Otherwise, towards a fair and sustainable food and agriculture system”. It featured speakers from around the world, including Vandana Shiva, scientist and activist, and Olivier De Schutter, UN-Rapporteur on the Right to Food.  Both speakers touched our hearts and souls when we listened to their talks, as this is what we are all about. Have a listen or a read.  Very worthwhile.

Permaculture Hui in Wellington: "Heal, Connect, Protect - More than gardening"

It is great these days that we can keep in touch with such interesting events and people around the world. In two weeks' time one such interesting event is scheduled in Wellington. Permaculture NZ is holding a Hui on the April 25-27 (ANZAC weekend) with great motivational speakers and interesting workshops. A great place to meet like-minded people and brainstorm about sustainable and more fair ways of living in New Zealand.  It all starts with small steps and my first small step will be to introduce the concept of saving pools to our two almost grown-up daughters as well as shouting them a ticket to the permaculture Hui.  Our children are our future! 

Healthy living,

Josje and the farm team