In the month of April, Future Boston is running a series of guest posts about the Cooperative sector and how we are transforming the Boston economy. We appreciated the opportunity to share our perspective, along with our friends at Restoring Roots Permaculture Co-Op.
The most exciting thing about becoming a worker-owned cooperative is seeing each member blossom as an owner, and seeing a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Two weeks after the purchase, we had a bobcat, truck, and trailer stolen from our yard. Even though it was winter and many people were off work, everyone jumped to action, retracing steps, looking for clues, filing insurance paperwork, spreading the word. What could have been our first opportunity for finger-pointing and defensiveness was instead our first successful test of solidarity, where our different strengths and ways of looking at a problem came together.
We’re naturally good with rocks, plants, soil, and rulers. Democratic business ownership comes with a whole set of new behaviors and skills: speaking up in meetings, asking questions, taking notes, finding more information, networking, reading financial statements, setting goals, evaluating success. It’s exciting to see that even those of us with 12, 15, 19 years with the company have more to learn. We’re grateful to be a part of the vibrant cooperative community in Boston and beyond, where the value of “cooperation among cooperatives” has given us good partners on the journey.