View Full Version : Organizing urban market gardening cooperatives

05-30-2007, 09:26 AM
SPIN Farming (Small Plot Intensive) originated in Saskatoon, Canada, where some rural farmers decided to move to the city and become urban market gardeners. They presently gross about $50,000/year on 1/2 acre of market garden plots. They don't even have a half acre in a contiguous place, they "rent" about 20 different plots in people's back yards under various "rental" agreements. SPIN-Farming ( is their website.

If there is one thing that I have learned in 3-1/2 years as president and general manager of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, it is that the market for locally and organically grown vegetables is way bigger than the actual production of locally and organically grown vegetables.

I am interested in helping organize one or more worker owned cooperatives who would use the SPIN farming model to develop market gardening businesses in Oklahoma that would grow and sell organic vegetables directly to the public at farmers markets and through the Oklahoma Food Cooperative.

My idea is that initially, this would be a "2nd job" for the participants, a part-time job that in time could grow to be a full-time business. As I have often been heard to say, "We start small or we don't start at all."

As I did when I started the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, I have started a Yahoo discussion group to facilitate that organizing process. If you are interested in becoming an Oklahoma SPIN Farming Cooperator, please subscribe to the discussion and let's get this going. To subscribe, go to okspinfarmcoop : Oklahoma Spin Farming Coop Discussion ( and click the "join" button.

Please pass this news along to other Oklahoma listservs or post it at boards where people may be interested.

Bob Waldrop, Oklahoma City

05-30-2007, 09:38 AM
Thanks for the info, Bob. It's a great idea!