• Cooperative Design Lab Celebration 4/25 in Augusta

    Please join us to eat good food and learn about the new forming cooperatives emerging from Cooperative Fermentation’s 3-month long Cooperative Design Lab. This celebration will happen at the end of a day of great workshops at the Principle 6 Conference (from 9am-3pm at the Viles Arboretum). Members of the cooperatives who completed the program will showcase their ventures with short presentations, opportunities for questions, connecting, and revelry!


  • Ecologies of Enterprise: 8 Forms of Capital for a New Economy

    Ecologies of Enterprise: 8 Forms of Capital for a New Economy

    Based on the work of Ethan Roland and Gregory Laguna, this workshop will explore the 8 forms of capital framework as explained in their book Regenerative Enterprise: Optimization for Multi-capital Abundance. Participants will use the framework as a lens through which to view the food system. This workshop is a piece of the Cooperative Design Lab and donations received will benefit the current participants Cooperative Design Lab.

    social permaculture workshop focusing on a multitude of diverse capital flows, and the interconnections we can weave for designing our local economy. This interactive session will be good for anyone who is interested in:

    • examining the food system with a financial permaculture eye

    • the intersection of social systems and land systems

    • the business of producing, distributing, procuring, preparing or serving food 

    • multistakeholder design process for networks

    In this three hour workshop, participants will engage in a variety of topics in, and around, the topic of optimizing the capital flows between various entities to move away from extractive economics to regenerative economics. We will consider farms, food hubs, urban agriculture, agroforestry, and various services in between. 

    Some activities that participants will engage in will include: 

    • developing an understanding of the 8 forms of capital

    • recognizing the flows of these forms of capital in the community

    • input/output analysis for distinct elements of the food system

    • mapping the food system

    • talking about the role of local food in the local economy

    • designing enterprise ecologies together to grow and restore  

    This workshop has evolved from the social permaculture unit in the Resilience Hub Permaculture Design Course and the Cooperative Design Lab. Regenerative Enteprise Design can be applied to supply chains, leadership, strategic relationships and reconnects us to living systems. 

    Please RSVP at The Resilience Hun Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/portlandpermaculture/events/220736689/

    More about Rachel Lyn

    Rachel Lyn believes that building networks and social ecologies that work together and learn together is the most worthwhile thing to do on the planet. In her work to build community resilience and learning networks, she draws on systems thinking and permaculture design. She is an educator and a facilitator with The Resilience Hub, where she teaches permaculture courses and ecology classes, designs learning events, and provides consulting to organizations. She especially interested in where ecosystems and the social systems intersect. 

    Rachel Lyn has more than fifteen years experience practicing facilitation and process consulting and seven years experience as a professional trainer and educator before joining the Resilience Hub in 2012. She earned her masters degree in 2009 in Applied Behavioral Science with The Leadership Institute of Seattle. All here live she has been a serial entrepreneur, having had a hand in  array of startups including a cleaning company; a woman-owned construction LLC, a systems engineering company, and a locally owned fitness studio she coached the owner to plan and launch.  She has served on the board of the Pacific Northwest Organizational Development Network,as Program Director; participated in the Community Consulting Partnership; and co-founded Community Conversation Project. She spend four years teaching Sociology, Psychology and Leadership courses, and various computer systems, before earning her Permaculture Design Certificate from Lisa Fernandes in 2012. She also serves on the Education Committee with MOFGA. 

    Rachel Lyn and her family grow much of their own food and helps with local food initiatives by designing and implementing community garden projects, food forests, and agroforestry systems. 

    About the Book

    In  a world of damaged ecological and social systems, with a fragile global economy and a rapidly changing climate, business as we know it must evolve or perish. Welcome to 8 Forms of Capital and Regenerative Enterprise. Regenerative Enterprise defines the difference between degenerative, sustainable, and regenerative systems. It articulates the four factors of a regenerative enterprise, and the principles for designing regenerative enterprise ecologies. Available through here.

    Books will be availble at the event on a sliding scale for particpants. $10-30.

    April 23rd, 2015 6:00 PM   through   9:00 PM
    222 and 224 Anderson Street
    Portland, ME me-04103
    Phone: 2076159970
    Donation $ 20.00
    Donation $ 30.00
    Donation $ 50.00

    Help spread the word

    Please help us and let your friends, colleagues and followers know about our page: Ecologies of Enterprise: 8 Forms of Capital for a New Economy

  • Cooperative Design Lab

    CFlogobanner.jpg         CDI_logo_retinalogo.jpg

    Cooperative Design Lab  

    a development course for worker, producer and hybrid cooperatives

    Click here for complete information and registration

    Cooperatives build local economic resilience by meeting community needs for goods, services and jobs through shared democratic business ownership. Cooperative Fermentation, a project of the Resilience Hub, is offering this course to strengthen the network of cooperatives in the region and to support the formation of co-ops in local farming and food production.

    Come to Cooperative Design Lab if you want to:

    • start a cooperativenepermacultureworkshop2.jpg

    • expand your group’s capacity and skills

    • convert your business to a cooperative

    • help develop cooperatives in your community

    Course Overview

    Participants will gain the knowledge, skills and capacity to start a cooperative business.

    Through the course, participants will:

    • go through a step-by-step process to create a co-op

    • plan their business

    • prepare and share meals together

    • engage in personal development

    • discern appropriate organizational structures

    • learn tools for cooperative leadership and management

    • connect to mentors, coaching and technical assistance

    • explore the role of cooperatives in building a resilient economy

    Cooperative Design Lab will meet three weekends from January to March in 2015 (Jan 31 & Feb 1, Feb 21 & Mar 1, Mar 21 & 22) and online for webinars. There will be homework including readings, films, group projects, and journal work. In celebration of course completion, participants will have the opportunity to present their ideas to an audience of community members, mentors, funders, and policy makers.


    How to apply: Use this linkto apply online. After you submit your application, the organizers will contact you to assist you with the registration process. Please submit before January 15th. Remember, if you register by December 15, you receive $100 off tuition!

  • Co-optail Hour 10/29, 5-7pm

    Cabot Farmer’s Annex 163 Commercial St. Portland
    Happy Co-op Month! Join Cooperative Fermentation and Cabot Creamery Cooperative in celebrating cooperatives.  This will be a great time to meet with other co-ops and learn about co-ops in the greater Portland area.   We will also be drawing a winning raffle ticket for Cabot cheese to benefit Cooperative Fermentation’s learning and co-op development programs. The Co-optail Hour will feature Cabot’s Award Winning Cheeses, local beer from Allagash and Fermented Foods from Cooperative Fermentation.

  • Creating Cooperatives in our Communities Tour

    “Creating Cooperatives in our Communities” Tour on the Maine coast Starting 7/27

    & Celebrating Worker Cooperatives event at Local Sprouts Cooperative on 8/5

    Cooperative Fermentation, a new project working to democraticize the food system through creating cooperatives, will be hitting the road for the last week of July to share information about cooperatives in Maine communities. The tour will begin on Vinalhaven, then go up to Eastport, Machias and Stonington before coming back inland to Waterville and then to Portland.

    Each workshop will present information about cooperatives including an exploration of the values of cooperatives, history of cooperatives in the United States, and the structures and finances of cooperatives. The second half of the workshop will be a participatory design session where participants will share cooperative ideas and then work together on designing a cooperative for their community.

    This tour is happening amongst a groundswell of interest in cooperatives in Maine, Regionally, Nationally and Internationally. In Maine, many new cooperative efforts are starting up including over five new local foods retail stores, farming cooperatives, restaurants, service cooperatives and more.   In June, employees of three stores in Stonington purchased the businesses from the owner turning it into the largest worker cooperative in Maine. Later that same week, the City Council in New York City approved a $1.2 million dollar budget for worker cooperative development. Similar efforts are underway in towns and cities across the country to build a more democratic economy that can meet the needs of people in their community.

    Cooperatives are businesses rooted in their communities that support people’s voices in their workplace which helps to grow a more vibrant, democratic economy and society.

    Help support the Creating Cooperatives in our Communities Tour by donating to Cooperative Fermentation


    Tour Schedule

    July 27, 7pm: Vinalhaven Town Hall

    July 29: Machias, no public event, contact us to meet up and talk about cooperatives

    July 30, 6pm: Eastport Frontier Bank, 30 Water St.

    August 1st, 5pm: Barrels Community Market, Waterville

    August 5th, 7pm: Local Sprouts Cooperative, 649 Congress St. Portland:

    Celebrating Worker Cooperatives: Amy Johnson, Membership Coordinator of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives will be visiting Maine to connect the work of the National Worker Cooperative Movement with local cooperative work here in Maine. This informal night will provide an opportunity for people to meet one another, learn about worker co-ops, connect with the US Federation and share inspiration to create more cooperatives in our communities.


    The Creating Cooperatives Tour is supported by the Cooperative Development Institute, the Broad Reach Fund, and the Resilience Hub.


    For more information contact: Jonah Fertig, 207-615-9970, Jonah.fertig@gmail.com www.cooperativefermentation.org


  • Cooperative Fermentation

    Cooperative Fermentation’s mission is to democratize the Maine food system through creating multi-stakeholder cooperatives in farming, food processing and restaurants.  This will be accomplished through incubation of new co-ops, popular education and presentations, hands-on food production, facilitation and supporting cooperative organizers to transition existing food and farm businesses.

    Our food system has grown, our local infrastructure is rebuilding, and our farms are being restored. This change is bubbling up from communities and individuals that have visions of a different way of eating and living. We are learning from the past and creating a new food system.  Our resilient cultures are growing and creating new ferments on our farms, boats and kitchens.

    Cooperative Fermentation is spreading knowledge, inspiration, and possibilities about cooperative and community-owned businesses to our Maine food system.   We are sharing the starter cultures that help ferment our visions and create new infrastructure that increases our self sufficiency.