how can we get people who own vacant land in chicago city to allow farm coop while land is not in use?

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  1. 0 Votes

    I have personal experience: This may be difficult.

    You’re assuming: Hey, it’s unused land! Why not put it to use?

    They might be thinking: If we piss off the neighborhood long enough, they’ll get desperate and let us develop it the way we want. That’s what happened in my neighborhood. The landowner stalled for several years, kicking everybody off the land, refusing to allow businesses or anyone else to use it. (This was very valuable property.) The owner caused significant damage to the community, trying to get his way. There are people, especially big businessmen, who don’t give a damn about anyone or anything. If that’s your situation, you’re hosed. 

    On the other hand, maybe the the current owners will listen to sweet creative reason.

    • Can you offer the owners some of the profits?
    • How about offering the owners what is essentially free PR? Let them put up signs about how wonderful the co-op is, and how much they support the community. Point out it’s bound to attract attention, and attention means eventually they’ll get a buyer.
    • Some crops help the soil. Make the owners a promise that the crops that are planted will be ones that improve the soil, leaving it ultimately a more valueable property for them.
    • Tell him you’ll plant his favorite crops (say 10 varieties of tomatoes) and that he can have a certain part of the crop free. That’s a kind of business arrangement that’s worked around the world for 1,000s of years.
    • Do a little research. Find some model coop gardens that are neat, tidy, safe, and run by sound business princibles. Show him pictures. Promise him you’ll do the same kind of thing.
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