Interview: TERRA.

www.terra-coop.lu

1) What is your project about? How does it work? When did you start it and why?

Since early 2014, the people of TERRA have been busy preparing the soil in a beautiful 1.5-hectare orchard in the Eicherfeld, just 10 minutes away from Luxembourg City.
A wide range of traditional varieties of fruit trees, perfectly spaced at 10m apart, allow for rows of perennial and annual vegetables, herbs and beneficial flowers to be cultivated in-between, thus creating a resilient and diverse agricultural system that mimics the balance and biodiversity found in a natural ecosystem.
The produce is then distributed directly to our members through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) scheme and therefore bypasses the need for wholesalers and eliminates the financial and environmental costs involved in importing food from far away.
Rather than paying a fixed price per kilo, members pay for the service of agriculture in advance and therefore enable the producer to plan ahead as well as minimize the waste of production.
TERRA also gives its members the opportunity to connect with where their food comes from and with the people who produced it. A variety of workshops, seminars, festivities and other events allow for a truly participatory experience that creates a new social cohesion around our most essential need: FOOD!

2) Why is it important to you to do it in a collective way?

TERRA is a collective life project and aims to be truly participatory by involving members, cooperators, volunteers and anyone else who is interested in a myriad of inclusive ways. After our first year, the three creators of TERRA agree that agriculture is not meant to be done alone. It should be a collective experience, consisting of group work, meditative repetition, and celebration. TERRA wants to build a community around food but also around more general concerns that unite us, such as a resilient and regenerative agriculture system, an alternative economy, local produce, a connection with nature and the transition movement.

3) Was it hard to get out of your “individual” shells at first? Something to get used to?

Working together in an effective, equivalent and inclusive way is not a given. On the contrary, it is something that is not necessarily fostered in today’s world. So it takes some time, experience and patience. Luckily, there are many tools, methods and practices from all over the world that we can learn from, such as permaculture, sociocracy, holistic management, transition and many more! This drive to do things differently, not for the sake of being different, but for rethinking old schemes and exploring new ways of collaborating, makes TERRA a fascinating learning experience every day.

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