CONTENTS • Experiencing Community • Project Update • Goose Thoughts • Walk Our Land with Dan Guenther • Please Don't Go Onto the Land without an

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Calendar only Nov copy


• Experiencing Community

• Project Update

• Goose Thoughts

• Walk Our Land with Dan Guenther

• Please Don't Go Onto the Land without an Equity Member

• Sociocracy Training

• Giving Thanks Pot Luck

Nancy   Vagn crop

Nancy with her husband, Vagn Visbo


by Nancy Schafer

Our members have decided to have an organic CSA farm on our land, which would supply food for our community of 37 households. In planning this, we recently came to an issue that was divisive and potentially devastating to me. The decision to be made was whether or not to raise any farm animals for the sole purpose of providing meat.

This was the first “make or break” issue we have encountered. We have resolved many difficult issues before, when we each agreed to something that was not what we desired, but was something we could “live with.” Raising animals for meat was not something I could live with. Representing myself, and other potential new vegetarian members, I was alone in clearly vocalizing this opinion. There were some in our group who felt strongly that our community should be as sustainable as possible, which would involve raising our own meat.

After one meeting, and some back and forth emails, I felt that I was very much alone in my view. I was starting to think that LFC was moving in a direction that was incompatible with my beliefs, with my gut. Sadly, I started considering a future that didn’t include living at LFC. We decided to have a special meeting to try to resolve this issue.

I was dreading this meeting, believing it would involve my having to defend myself. Just when I was in tears, feeling hopeless about this being unresolvable, Pasha called unexpectedly, to support me both emotionally and ideologically. Then I spoke with Lynne who also voiced support. Still, I believed there were others who felt strongly in favor of raising meat animals, so I continued to dread the meeting.

It turned out to be totally not what I expected. As soon as I walked in, Barbara stated that she couldn’t stay for the whole meeting but she wanted everyone to know that she supported my position. That helped ease me somewhat. Then, as we used the structure of our sociocratic process, it became clear that the other members had each been processing this issue in their own way. Each had decided that not raising the animals for meat wasn’t a make or break issue for them. They could forego their preferences and beliefs and “live with” not raising meat animals. And, best of all, my continued membership was more important to them. WOW, such validation of my being and our process!"

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As the General Managers for Legacy Farm, our overriding responsibility was to create a viable project with all the approvals behind us. As a late step in that process, with the support of our Design Task Force, we are reworking our floor plan designs to include one story units in response to the needs expressed by many.

Our Architectural Designer, Chuck Silver, our Builder, Bob Cohn, and our Construction Manager, Paul Waddington, will soon get re-involved so we can begin re-pricing costs for construction and site development (we should expect a 10% - 15% reduction for labor costs but not necessarily materials). With these figures, we can update the budget and finalize our pricing. In turn, we will then get a more solid assessment of taxes and maintenance fees.

At this juncture, with our site plans & the NYS Attorney General Limited Filing approval behind us, as well as the engineering and design work 95% completed, this is the perfect time to involve a Financial Advisor-Consultant and/or Investor to propel us forward. Having someone on board with experience will help us identify any loose ends before proceeding with lenders or investors to secure financing for the project.

We have been in dialog with a Developer who has worked with two Cohousing projects near Boston. We are very pleased with the first rounds of discussion and are looking forward to our continued conversations. We will also continue to consult with Bruce Richardson who has been our Financial Consultant/Accountant in the past, and with Wonderland Hill Development Company, the largest cohousing developer in the US.

We see five milestones in building our Equity Membership:
1. Providing final designs, prices, and estimates for taxes and maintenance fees. Without this information, many interested prospective residents (PRs) are not comfortable in moving forward.

2. Engaging a financial consultant to guide us toward our financing.

3. Receiving a commitment for financing. Lining up our financing or getting a commitment letter from a lender will be a tremendous boost in confidence. Since the lending standards have changed in response to the economic crisis, the amount of money we need to bring to the table as our share of the investment has jumped from 20% to as high as 40%. Much of what we have raised so far has been spent on our ‘soft costs’, for example, paying professionals and approval process fees. As each PR household becomes an Equity household, their $25,000 cash contribution allows us to move toward raising the 40%.

4. Breaking ground for infrastructure, i.e. road, water and septic systems, photovoltaic array and electrical systems for the first phase of building homes.

5. Building homes. Here’s when the project becomes “real”. PRs can finally see actual buildings, instead of visualizing them from drawings and descriptions.

With each achievement, our PRs will gain the information and confidence they need to invest and become Equity members. Hopefully, activity on the land will begin this late fall/early winter with the felling of selected trees on the build-out area. That will be followed by breaking ground for infrastructure, starting with the road. The feedback we received after developing our swimming area at our large pond (docks, boats, boating supplies and picnicking facilities) is that the activity increased excitement in the project and PRs are interested in moving toward membership.

We appreciate all those PRs who continue to participate and are hanging in with us as we move forward. It would be in the best interest for all to not sit on the sidelines until all the unknowns are resolved. The more you get involved the better you will know if we and Legacy Farm are going to be in your future.

Ellen Sribnick, & Linda Gluck, Co-General Managers

geese 007


Observation: As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the birds that follow. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
Observation: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We learn to trust the group wisdom because we share a common goal.

Inspired by Belfast Cohousing newsletter.

barns field road lil


Continuing the development of our farm, Dan Guenther, organic CSA farmer - who addressed our Open Meeting in April - has very generously offered to walk our land with us as part of our Sun, Nov 7 Open Meeting, WEATHER PERMITTING. With pick and shovel, we will dig in various areas to see how deep the soil is as well as soil analysis. This will help determine what sorts of crops would be viable in the available soils. Those interested in the future of the farm are invited to join him. Warm clothes and boots would be a good idea.


Our insurance coverage requires that anyone driving or walking onto our land must be physically accompanied by an Equity Member. Being given permission by an Equity Member is not a substitute for a Member being present. If you would like to arrange for a visit, please call Ellen Sribnck, Co-General Manager at 845/658-9508, cell 845 658-7553.

Sheilah   Perri combo

Sheilah Davidson & Perri Ardman


Majority rule is a frequently used method for making group decisions. With majority rule, you can get a group decision pretty quickly, and you end up with winners and losers.

Autocratic rule means that one person makes decisions for the group. It’s efficient (a good thing) and vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation (not a good thing).

Consensus is another method often used, especially in non-profits or community groups, and it builds commitment and buy-in. However, in practice, anyone in the group can block, effectively giving just one person veto power.

In the Sociocratic process, anyone can voice a reasoned and paramount objection to a proposal. This provides an opportunity to rework proposals in an organic way until a proposal is within everyone’s range of acceptability. It is both a natural process and one that requires training.

This training will enable participants to learn about Legacy Farm's governance method of SOCIOCRACY, a variation of consensus decision-making. Training is offered every few months to Prospective Residents who have already attended one Open Meeting. This is an important part of the Orientation Process.

Training will take place from 10:00-1:00pm at 159 Binnewater Road, Rosendale (Sheilah and Sean's house at the entrance to Legacy Farm). Please email Sheilah Davidson at if you are interested. Space is limited.


From 1:00-3:30 (following the Sociocracy training), Members, PRs, & any coho-interested folks are invited to a POT LUCK at Ellen & Pasha's house (845 658-9508/ cell 845 658 7553) in Rosendale to get acquainted, eat, chat, laugh, eat some more. We'll supply beverages. Please bring non-perishable food items for Thanksgiving donations to the Rosendale Food Pantry.

Directions: From the Thruway exit 19 in Kingston, pass thru the toll booth and then into the Traffic Circle. Follow sign for Washington Ave. Follow Washington thru several traffic lights to the traffic light at Lucas Turnpike (gas station and laundromat on corners). Go right and travel approx 3.5 miles south on Lucas. Watch for a green sign on the right saying Town of Rosendale. Pass small pond on your left, and then take the next soft left into Binnewater Rd. Follow Binnewater for 2-3 miles passing the entrance to Williams Lake Hotel (on left) to the next four way intersection (Sawdust on your right). Turn left and immediately left again into Binnewater Lane. E & P's is the taupe frame house w/ black shutters on that corner. Park along Binnewater Ln and walk up their driveway.
Directions from the Thruway exit 18 in New Paltz, pass thru the toll booth, and proceed to traffic light. Turn left (299 west) toward town. Pass over the Thruway and take the right lane yield which feeds you onto North Puttcorners Rd (this route allows you to bypass New Paltz Village). Continue to a left turn called Shivertown Rd. Follow Shivertown to a flashing light. Turn right onto Rte 32 towards Kingston. Pass through Tillson (note speed limit) and over the bridge at Rosendale. Left at the first traffic light onto Main St, Rt. 213 west. After the village, pass a bridge over the Rondout Creek on your left. Take the next right (sharp, uphill) onto Binnewater Rd. At the 4-way intersection, turn right and immediately left into Binnewater Lane. E & P's is the taupe frame house w/ black shutters on that corner. Park along Binnewater Ln and walk up their driveway.


Membership Information

Equity members are those households who have already made an Equity-level contribution to the project and participate fully in community decisions and planning. Prospective Residents (PRs) are those households who have an interest in becoming Equity members, and who are proceeding through the Orientation Process. See the Orientation Process section of our website for further details.


If you are interested in contributing to this monthly newsletter or have any comments or questions, please contact Gai Galitzine
Editors: Linda Gluck and Gai Galitzine