Your Community Initiatives

Lesley Posts: 28 ✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Other News

Was wondering if many people are using this time to set up grass roots community groups in anticipation of future developments?

We still find it difficult here in France to source organic food at reasonable prices, so a couple of years ago, a friend and I set up a bulk buying group. We buy organic food/other stuff members want in bulk (cheaper price) and split between members.

Why you might consider it is here:

The software we use to run it is here:

With the C-19 economic fallout looming large, I'm about to set up a LETS scheme. (Local Economic Trading Scheme/System) they call them SEL's here in France. It's a barter/exchange economy for local people.

There's a lot of free Software out there to run one:

If you're looking for free software to help manage the membership side of any community group Wild Apricot is free for up to 50 members, and paid after that level. Ive used it for an international group of over 1000 members. It includes membership management, web pages and fora, newsletter emailing, events management and subscription renewals.

Would love to hear what others are doing / planning


  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    @Lesley that is great and thank you for sharing the software info as well. Here in Waco TX it is more casual. I've initiated informal trade suggestions in the Facebook gardening group with positive feedback. With some of the states & the powers that be here in the states it looks like they are going to open stuff back up anyway. Personally I think it is too soon, at least here in Texas for sure. We have not hit our peak and it may be weeks before we do. So who knows? But I really like the idea of trading/bartering for things and services regardless of what they decide. There are a lot of poor people here but they have things or skills that the can provide. I will look into this, and thanks again!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,517 admin

    @Lesley Excellent post!

    We have a couple of similar buying groups in my area. One orders bulk organic foods from a large supplier once a month and has been operating successfully for several years. It includes almost everything: dry goods, canned goods, personal hygiene products, frozen foods, fresh produce, deli. dairy and bakery items. For anyone else in Canada who might be interested in setting up this kind of buying group, following is the website:

    We also have a herbal medicine buying group that orders from Harmonic Arts (a Canadian herbal supplier similar to Mountain Rose). They offer a substantial discount for bulk orders and waive the shipping for orders over a certain amount. They carry: dried herbs, tinctures, syrups & elixirs, combination products, mushrooms, teas and other beverages.

    Another source of local buying in our area is a Hutterite colony that delivers bulk orders to us every couple of months. We phone in our orders and then it is delivered to a common area where we all meet to pick up our orders. They supply sides of pork, beef or lamb as well as turkeys, ducks, geese and chickens. They make some fabulous sausages! So a communal farm system like this might be something to look for in your area.