Irresistible Community Builders Presents: Culver Way Cash

by Tom & Carol Braford

Creating a local currency is nothing new. In fact, at one point in time all currency was local. And, in a very real sense, anything from beads to seashells to IOU’s that we exchange as a representation of real value is a currency. And there is the rub; one person’s real value is another person’s junk. For many of us, the value represented in our national currency is looking less and less like what we truly value and more and more like junk.

Certain international big picture thinkers, like James Quilligan, author of The Global Commons, are calling for a new international currency based on a basket of goods and services that are abundant and common to all regions and cultures, rather than the modern one based solely on scarce commodities like gold and more recently oil.

Nothing becomes global, however, without first becoming national, regional, local and sub-local, so we are starting at the sub-local level, creating a neighborhood currency at Culver Way Ecovillage. We have no illusions of being able to operate completely outside of the current economic structure, nor are we interested in doing so. Instead, we are committed to creating a currency that is both transformational and transitional.

For now, Culver Way Cash will serve as a medium of exchange among members of the Culver Way Ecovillage. For example, workers in the construction co-op could use it to purchase food from the urban farmers’ co-op; farmers could use their credits to pay for entertainment by members of the Culver Way musicians’ co-op or for a massage by a member of the health and recreation co-op. Ultimately, all members could use their accumulated credits toward down payments on their homes in the cohousing neighborhoods and/or as participation units in one or more of the co-op ventures.
Currently, you can become a member of Culver Way Ecovillage by joining one of the three forming cohousing neighborhood core groups or one of the five core ventures associated with Culver Way Ecovillage: 1) Creating community, 2) Commerce & ventures, 3) Growing & serving food, 4) Teaching, learning & healing, 5) Energy & resources.

To learn more, please join us on Saturday, April 16, for a tour of the ecovillage followed by a potluck lunch. That afternoon, we will have a workshop on the forming co-op ventures.

Culver Way Ecovillage: Tom & Carol Braford, www.CulverWayCohousing.com, braford@sbcglobal.net, 314-534-4780.

Green Beings Urban farm: Jess Peter, www.greenbeings-stl.com, greenbeings@gmail.com.

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