Kanjini Co-Op

Kanjini Co-Op Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 3 - July - December 2010


Welcome to all the newcomers to our newsletter and many thanks to all the truly inspired people that have continued participating in planning, advertising and searching for a property.

A Potential PropertyWe apologise for the lateness of this Newsletter. We have been very busy looking at properties, having preliminary meetings with various government departments, reviewing criteria and continuing planning. We have also been adding new sections to the website and created an entirely new Website for Members & Friends of Kanjini. You can read more about these exciting developments in this newsletter.

We are thrilled to have short-listed several properties and would love to get your comments and feedback on them. See more below for your opportunity to participate in choosing a property for realising our Kanjini dream!
Recently several Kanjini members participated in the Australasian Permaculture Convergence enjoying a motivating and action packed weekend shared with truly inspiring and compassionate world visionaries. An extra-large THANK YOU to our local Cairns Permaculture group, which did such a fantastic job with organising the convergence and managed to get Bill Mollison, Darryl Hannah, Costa Georgiadis and many more famous and inspiring people to Kuranda!

It was wonderful to hear of the growing organic agricultural revolution in different parts of our planet. Once such revolutionary is Eugenio Gras, a Mexican Integrated Agricultural System Designer, Developer and Educator who told how COAS has developed a Bio-Fertiliser technology and has now educated thousands of Latin American farmers how to be organic sustainably. Dr Eugenio Gras is one of Latin America's foremost sustainable agriculture experts. Currently working intensively for COAS in the training of farmers, producers, academics and professors throughout Latin America. Eugenio has taught and spoken worldwide on! his innovative techniques for creating organic, natural fertiliser from whatever is at hand on a given farm thus revolutionising their agriculture and the health of the farmers and their families.

In Australia there are many dedicated Permaculture groups and individuals achieving outstanding results both in rural areas and in urban environments. See more about Permaculture at the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and read about inspiring urban permaculture activities with Permaculture Sydney North.
Hearing the stories of so many visionaries and achievers was an affirmation in the deepest sense that Kanjini Co-Op is the way of the future, living together sustainably...Check out the Food Forest, an award winning permaculture farm in South Australia.

"Use what talent you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best." (Henry Van Dyke)

In the ever increasing world of hybridisation and companies monopolising food seed sources it has been refreshing to discover the advancement of the world wide Seed Savers Network - a global movement devoted to saving seeds that are non-hybrid and true to type. The resurgence of interest in Heirloom fruits and vegetables as a source of guaranteed food survival is steadily increasing. If you think that Monsanto is the Big Bad Wolf and you really want to do something positive towards our seed options and our food sources, then we encourage you to join the Seed Savers movement and grow heirloom vegetables and fruit - preserving the genetic basis of tomorrows food.
Back to our newsletter.
Since it has been so long since our last newsletter, this edition is rather big and full of stories, reports, land-news, happenings, questions answered and other interesting news. Just in case you are short in time or do not want to read the whole newsletter, please at least check out the paragraphs about the short-listed Kanjini Co-Op properties and our new website section for Members and Supporters, thanks.

Happy reading and Seasons Greetings...
Kanjini Co-Op secretary


Slow, FoodFood security

World Food Day was on 16 October 2010. High oil, fertiliser and food prices have highlighted the issue of food security for many countries. In this unstable environment the question arises, “How can we design farming systems that are economically and ecologically sustainable?”.Kanjini Co-Op is one of the solutions! We have been creating food gardens, further developing the Kanjini Vision.
Food security is a huge issue in ever more countries, especially those recently affected by natural disasters. Growing scarcities of water, land, oil and nutrients will combine with climate change to create a serious threat to global food security in coming decades. These could result in major regional famines, wars and refugee crises. In our Developed Nations, where hunger is known only to the most disadvantaged, there is much waste and a serious lack of knowledge concerning the origins of our food. The good news is that there is a growing trend of greater awareness. Recently I met some inner Sydney city residents who grow food on their small balcony, harvest rainwater, and have a small worm farm. Everyone can make a change by simple acts done with awareness, by producing as much food as they can, even if you live in an apartment.

Uniting against hunger becomes real when state and civil society organisations and the private sector work in partnership at all levels to defeat hunger, extreme poverty and malnutrition. On this World Food Day 2010, when there have never been so many hungry people in the world, let us reflect on the future. With willpower, courage and persistence – and many players working together and helping each other – more food can be produced, more sustainably, and get into the mouths of those who need it most.

There is a growing movement supporting Slow Food in Australia and Internationally. Ever considered how much energy is needed to fill your fruit bowl?
We all need to eat, however its what we eat and where it was grown and how it was produced that contributes to carbon emissions and thus climate change. Its about what resources are needed by the farmers to actually grow that food and the extent of transport needed to get that food to your plate. If you have not already done so I urge you to check out how easy it is to cut down on your food carbon emissions. Grow your own and buy local......waste not want not...... and feel Blessed that we have such incredible abundance ...


Smaller Footprint, Bigger Smile

Several Kanjini Co-Op members recently attended a public lecture at JCU Cairns Campus, by renowned scientist and environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki.
This talk was primarily to launch his most recent book "The Legacy - An Elder’s vision for our Sustainable Future" but was also a distillation of the wisdom and experience of David Suzuki's long and passionate love affair with Planet Earth. During this lecture, David Suzuki reflected on the massive changes in the world within his living memory – from explosive population growth, to massive technological developments, to the establishment of a global economy. Ultimately, he expressed his faith in human beings' capacity for innovation and he urged us all to imagine a better world and to make it happen. For further information about the latest book and to learn more about his work please visit the David Suzuki Foundation. You can also read and hear an interview with David and Greg Bourne, CEO WWF-Australia.

David Suzuki Key Notes: Most importantly remember what is truly important: family, friends and our beautiful planet. These are the most important issues for a simpler happier life. ENJOY!
Transport: Be an eco-driver by driving the most fuel efficient vehicle for your needs OR better still try cycling, walking, use public transport, car sharing, telecommuting and video conferencing.
Home: Live in a modest home, use less and enjoy more! Get a home energy audit and follow the recommendations OR better still buy Solar Panels or Green Electricity.
Food: Choose locally produced food and preferably organic! Grow what ever food you can at home or in a community garden. If there are no community gardens near you, then start one!
Stuff: Shop less and if you do buy, look at the true cost to planet earth of manufacturing everything we acquire. Repair more and re-use and recycle!
Citizenship: Be a global citizen! Speak out about environmental issues and vote for pro-environmental candidates.

On a local note: Just when Reuse /Recycle seemed a reality, a local Compost revolution has been hampered by bureaucrats! A truly innovative group, Trust Nature FNQ have succeeded in reaching agreement with the Tableland Regional Council to run a composting trial at the regional refuse landfill site. Unfortunately the Department of Environment and Resource Management now requests a very expensive odour assessment. Understandable if the trial would proceed in a residential area, but at a landfill site which stinks worse than any compost could ever do?!?


Annual General Meeting

The Kanjini Co-Op AGM was held on 13th November 2010.
We congratulate and welcome the incoming office holders and would like to thank all who have so eagerly participated in the meetings, planning, viewing properties and helping with everything from advertising to printing T Shirts and creating new web pages. A HUGE THANKYOU.
Office Holders: We welcome as Chairperson - Bob Goodsell, Treasurer - Svargo Freitag, and Secretary - Shiralee Betuel
All reports and financial statements are available to all members


On Property InspectionKanjini Co-Op Land

We have been very busy this whole year inspecting lots of potential properties on the Atherton tablelands!
For those of you who do not know this area yet, you can now find out more about the FNQ Region on our website.

There is an abundance of properties on the market ranging from the ridiculously over prized to the barren, which means it should be a good time for us to buy.
If there is enough interest to check out a particular property then we will make arrangements to inspect that property.
A BIG THANK YOU to Julie for her photography. Thanks also to all those who joyously contributed their time and energy, conversations, car sharing, insights and inspirations.

While looking at lots of properties we realised that water has become of primary importance, not just volume but also quality. For issues of privacy and possible spray-drift, we also all tend to favour "end-of-road" properties rather than one surrounded by other farms. One other issue we have extensively discussed is whether to buy land already certified as organic or to acquire land that fits all other criteria and we do the conversion ourselves. Although the former may show a good profit and is easier to start with, certified organic farms seem to be over priced (so we are told by the real estate agents). And converting a conventional farm to organic will allow us to teach others later, which is more in line with being a model. But we have not made any decision on this issue.

Of the many properties inspected, on the top of our list are three 'smaller' properties of between 100 to 175 acres, a medium sized 790 acre property and a very beautiful and large 7500 acre property.
The big one is everyone's dream property, but we will need more members and funds to buy it, so If you are ready to join Kanjini Co-Op and contribute financially to support the vision and share in the fun, this is a good time to please fill out your membership application.

We have listed these properties and most others we inspected in our Members & Friends of Kanjini Website, where you can tell us which ones you like. See WEBSITE NEWS (next paragraph) for more info on how to access this new section and contribute with your comments and evaluations.

We know that there are plenty of people out there who would love to join Kanjini Co-Op and contribute their energy, enthusiasm, expertise and money to make our common vision come true.
So if you have not done so already, please tell us a bit more about yourself by filling in this short questionnaire. The information you provide helps us in the planning process and gives us a better idea of the talents of our supporters. Thank you.
It takes a lot of hands to realise our big vision :-)

"Our duty as people is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation." (Pierre Chardin)


Big Property DamWebsite News

New Logo:
We now have our new logo in our website banner as well as on our handouts and flyers (please print and distribute or hang up). At one of our Hearts and Minds meetings we took the image used in the new logo. Everyone of the eleven people at that meeting joined their hands to form the mandala. It felt like a powerful moment and it was a nice synchronicity that we had eleven people at that meeting, and Kanjini Co-Op has eleven foundation shares.
For us the logo symbolises the strength and beauty created by the harmonious cooperation of many people.
We hope you like it.

Links Page: We have been creating a Links Page on our website where soon you will be able to easily access websites of some fantastic organisations, communities, local events and Kanjini Co-Op supporters. If you have a business or personal website and would like to exchange weblinks, please contact us.

FNQ Region: This new section of the website has a wealth of information about the FNQ Region in Queensland.
You can check out the weather, schools, local events, markets and much more!

NEW Members & Friends of Kanjini Website: We are very excited about this whole new section of our website. Thanks to all the co-creators and contributors and a HUGE THANKYOU to Kevin, our Members Section Creator and Moderator.
This section is not publicly accessible and is designed to conduct a lot of our internal interactions online. We will have different levels of access, so our directors and members can view and comment on relevant documents and meeting minutes. However many parts of this new section will be accessible to non-member supporters and we encourage you to use this opportunity to become a more active supporter of Kanjini Co-Op.
In this Members & Friends of Kanjini Website we have listed most of the properties which we have inspected, so you can do a virtual inspection of them as well.
We have also created a short-list of the most interesting properties and that is where we can really do with some help from you. After registering for access (see below), please check out the Short Listed properties and then please answer each of the five surveys for each of those properties.
Even if you do not have the money to contribute or can't come and help with the work right now, please let us know what you think!

SO if you would like to be one of the first people to get access to this Members & Friends of Kanjini Website Section, please CONTACT US with all of the following information:
your full name
your phone number
your country, city and post code
Once we receive all of that information, we can email you the URL and your username and password.
Once you log in and browse the properties, please do answer the survey and please do make comments at the bottom of the different properties, it will really help us make up our mind to know what you and everyone else thinks. Please do not be shy to be the first to make a comment, someone has to start and those coming to meetings have already shared their opinions with us.


Spreading the Kanjini Vision

We have been experimenting with our new Logo and enthusiastically printed some trial T Shirt Transfers. Several members proudly wore their Kanjini Co-Op T-Shirts to recent events, which proved to be fabulous conversation starters and networking tools. We have now found a couple of local Screen printers and the plan is to have T-Shirts available on-line to purchase. We will have a small range of colours and prints so we hope you will find one to suit you and help to spread the Kanjini Co-Op Vision! We also intend to have Car Stickers available next year! We will email you with details when production is finalised.

In the meantime please continue to spread the Kanjini Co-Op Vision. Please tell the taxi driver, the barber and the busker, tell all your friends and acquaintances........
On our homepage are links to the hand-outs and notice board flyers with our new logo, please feel free to print and hand them out or put them up on your local notice boards....thanks.
We need all the help we can get to make Kanjini Co-Op as big and as beautiful as possible :-)

We do appreciate your efforts and help in getting the word out there to those people :-) If you know of any groups you feel may be interested in Kanjini Co-Op or any publications or locations that would be suitable for advertising and or posters, please do let us know.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) !

A tiny Praying Mantis
In the image on the right is a baby Praying Mantis - the size of a Mosquito!

We are often asked questions and we are happy to share them here in the Newsletters. These questions and more, with our answers are also on-line.

Can I have use of Co-op land for personal income generation?
By approval of the Cooperative. You will need to initially discuss the proposal with the members and present a business plan. However we encourage communal business.

What is the decision making process to gain Co-op approval?
Consensus and if not, 75% majority at co-op meetings, with each active member having one vote. We embrace transparency, honesty and cooperation.
What would be the arrangement for people wanting to build their own houses, eg if there is no ownership, who pays for the buildings?
All land and dwellings and infrastructure will be owned by the cooperative,which means YOU as a member. However we envisage investment shares for situations where members want facilities over and above the norm.

Is the investment commitment of $100,000 to purchase the land only, or to cover infrastructure development as well ?
The $100,000 full share covers land purchase, communal infrastructure, basic accommodation and it gives you voting rights - the level of accommodation will be determined subject to the amount of members, initial cost of land, total cooperative funds etc.

What if I do not have $100,000?
You can pay a $20,000 deposit and then pay off the rest or work it off by Cooperative agreement. Kanjini Co-Op has a tiered Share Structure So you can JOIN NOW with a deposit of $2000...


Hearts and MindsHeart and Minds Meetings

These are our informal gatherings now held on the last Sunday of each month. The Hearts and Minds Meetings are designed to get to know each other better, introduce new interested people and advance the vision. These meetings are usually held at Koah and include Meet and Greet / introductions/ Q & A's, discussions, planning and often a property viewing, all amidst lots of laughter and whatever else we decide to do together. There is always a Heart component with valuable sharing of feelings and if possible we all venture outside and in the gardens.

Last month we inspected several more properties and have been fine tuning our criteria. For more info read Kanjini Co-Op Land...

Our Hearts and Minds Meetings are valuable experiences for cooperative living and much fun is had by all. If you are unable to physically attend a meeting but would like to contribute we can arrange for you to participate via SKYPE or by speaker phone. If you would like to use SKYPE or phone to attend, please let us know. We will need your SKYPE Name so we can have a trial connection prior to the meetings, thank you.

Besides these Hearts and Minds meetings we also hold our monthly formal Kanjini Co-Op Members meetings. Interested persons are invited to attend our monthly members meetings (however only members may vote). You are most welcome to join the process, ideas and your input is always welcome.
Directors meetings are now held every 2nd Friday of the month. 6pm for 6.30 dinner, meeting starts at 7pm Please Contact Us for venue directions.
Please note that newcomers are encouraged to first come to a Hearts and Minds meeting. Those are less formal and allow more time for questions and get-to know each other.
If you wish to receive email notices of all Director Meetings, please reply to this email with "Directors Meetings" in the Subject line, thank you.

Everyone on our email list will get informed of each Hearts and Minds Meeting.
NOTE: We will not hold a Hearts and Minds meeting in December, so our next one will be on 30th January 2011


Planning and Nursery

Planning: We have had communication and meetings with State Planners, Local Council and the Department of Environment and Resource Management relating to our planned development. We have been advised that the forming of a special 'rural precinct plan' might be the best avenue for the realisation of our vision. Queensland is governed by State Authorities in accordance with the Far North Queensland Regional Plan 2009–2031 State Planning Regulatory Provisions
The response we received from those government departments has been positive and encouraging.

BREAKING NEWS "Green door swings open to invite more sustainability into Queensland" says Minister for Infrastructure and Planning on Friday, October 15, 2010. It is encouraging to now hear that Queensland welcomes new initiatives in sustainability. The Green Door Advisory Committee has met for the first time to give streamlined development approvals to environmentally friendly projects that employ pioneering technologies, design techniques, recycled materials and renewable energies.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." (Albert Einstein)

Nursery: The Kanjini Co-Op's food and timber plant nursery has settled in well at Koah and is thriving. Black bean (Castanospermum australe) and Silky-oak (Grevillea robusta) are now reaching for the sky. As the climate changes our weather patterns in FNQ also are changing. Our normally dry season has been rainy this year and our winter months were far from cool. Due the unknowns of the weather we are experimenting with a large variety of food plants, including a variety of Mediterranean species , such as grape, figs and olives which have all fruited in the area. We also have Brazilian Cherry (Eugenia uniflora, also called Surinam Cherry, which is very High in Vitamin C and several potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory anti-cancer compounds have been isolated from the fruit. Jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora is ideal for eating fresh, making jams, tarts, wines, and liqueurs) - and it grows well in this area, the Bolton Road property has a huge old Jaboticab! a tree!
We have realised that to be sustainable we must grow a wide variety of foods. The Tablelands are blessed with the possibility to grow not only sub tropical foods but also Mediterranean food plants. In the winter months we can grow many temperate fruit and vegetables, such as potatoes and broccoli, strawberries and a wide variety of peas and beans. All year we are able to enjoy many Asian vegetables, herbs and spices.

Together we shall easily create abundant food and timber forests! Please consider to join us now so we can reach critical mass and manifest the Kanjini Co-Op Vision!

Isabella Grape
Isabella Grape
Brazilian Cherry
Brazilian Cherry


News & Quote of the Day

Wasting food is a problem… There's something very sad about the fact that Australians throw out 3 million tonnes of food every year - especially when hundreds of millions of people around the world go to bed hungry or are starving for the most basic of foods. Wasting food is also a waste of money, and it really damages the environment.
"These days there seems to be a real disconnect between the food we buy and the impact that it has on the environment when we throw it away. When you throw out food, you're also throwing out all of the resources, fuel and energy that were used to get that food to your plate," says Kylie Kwong, a prominent Australian television chef, author, television presenter and restaurateur

New Green Search Engine: Just thought I'd share something awesome with you! There is a new Internet search engine that saves 0.1 m² of rainforest with each search you do. The search results there are as good as they are on Google or Yahoo, and it is free too. The address of the "green search engine" is:
So far Forestle already has saved 7,994,910.1 m² of rainforest! Check it out and forward this link to your friends! It’s never been so easy to be green.

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do." (Helen Keller)

This is it from us until the next newsletter .....
We wish that you seriously consider joining us, so that our combined vision of enough people pooling their resources to purchase a stunning piece of land will soon become a reality.................



We wish you Love and Light and Many Blessing of continued Prosperity and Excellent Health
.....from The Kanjini Co-Op team



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