Beacon Citizen Network (BCN): a place for neighbors to get the word out, be heard and stay informed in all matters concerning Beacon, NY.




beacon locavores

locavores are people who eat food grown or produced locally; lets use this space to practice sustainability and support local economies (gardening, CSAs, farmer's markets, seed exchanges, local organic food resources)

Location: Beacon
Members: 137
Latest Activity: Jan 4, 2015

let's talk about.....

please share your gardening techniques & tips, upcoming events, info about where to buy local grass-fed meat and organic eggs, how to raise chickens (we can have up to 5 in beacon!), and any ideas about how we can build community by supporting local agriculture!


farm shares available

Started by Stonegate Farm Apr 1, 2013.

Hoe-a-Thon Fundraiser for Common Ground Farm!

Started by Sarah B. F. Jun 8, 2012.

Raw Milk fresh from the Farm 9 Replies

Started by RAY CLARY. Last reply by simone williams Feb 7, 2012.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Sarah B. F. on October 16, 2012 at 9:34am

Hello folks! I hope you'll join us at the Common Ground Farm annual Harvest Celebration & Benefit Auction, to be held November 3rd at 7:00pm. More info on the Event Page:


Comment by Anna West on September 9, 2012 at 10:20pm

Beacon Green Gardeners are meeting Monday, Sept 10th 7PM. Hope to see you there.

Comment by Sarah B. F. on August 22, 2012 at 10:30am

Hi everyone - please join Common Ground Farm at our 2nd Annual Roasted Pig Dinner, this year with Pig Raffle! To learn more you can go to the BCN Event Page:

Or, go directly to the Common Ground Farm Event Page, where you can buy Dinner Tickets and Raffle Tickets! There will be two chances to win 80 lbs. of pasture-raised Common Ground pork:

Hope to see you there!

Comment by Sarah B. F. on January 19, 2012 at 12:48pm

Thank you to everyone who attended the Common Ground Farm Open Board / Community meeting last night. Wonderful thoughts, suggestions and questions from all in attendance. Please feel free to continue to reach out to the Board, we are open to hearing from you. You can email and your message will be forwarded to the appropriate Board Member(s). Thank you again for putting the "C" in CSA, we couldn't do this without you!

Comment by Stowe Boyd on January 8, 2012 at 10:33am

I've started a Beacon Citizen group specifically for the Beacon Food Coop, now in progress (see http://beaconcitizen/group/beacon-food-coop). Mostly it will be a reposting of information and events from the Coop website (see

Comment by Sarah B. F. on December 22, 2011 at 12:16pm

Hi fellow Beacon Locavores! Thought this upcoming event might interest you:

Community Meeting & Potluck with Common Ground Farm:

Comment by Venessa Miemis on December 5, 2011 at 11:32am

awesome initiative, stowe!

and thanks for organizing the exploratory meeting this past saturday, i enjoyed the conversation and meeting the other passionate beaconites wanting to manifest this idea!

i already joined on the site. i think we should also put up an 'FAQ' page. as you mentioned during the meeting, one of the first reactionary thoughts people could have is that this is somehow a threat to the Natural Food Market in town, when in fact, as you explained, its complementary. 

i think the quote you used was "a rising tide lifts all boats."

indeed, this is actually a "pie expanding" initiative. instead of taking customers from the natural market, it will instead raise awareness within the community that buying local is a practical and wise decision, and the market for these products will actually grow.

also, i think we should have a 'Resources' page. 

i've compiled a bunch to get us started. some great stuff here to bring us all up to speed on the process!


venessa miemis

Coop Directory Service
Food Co-op initiative
Cooperative Grocers’ Information Network
New Zealand Cooperatives Association
How to Start a Food Co-op [PDF] - guide by the Cooperative Grocers’ Information Network
Starting An Online, Local Food Cooperative [PDF] - guide by Northwest Cooperative Dev Center
7 Cooperative Principles
Cooperatives - A Tool for Community Economic Development
2012 Webinars for Startup Food Co-ops
How to Start a Co-op

Cooperative Development Services
A network of independent consulting professionals experienced in developing food cooperatives. Can provide assistance with business planning, membership development, marketing studies, store layout and much more. Their site also has a collection of useful publications and FAQs. Check it out, HERE.

Cooperative Grocer Magazine
This industry publication has an extensive archive of past articles that you can read for free HERE.  
A series of workbooks and toolkits on various co-op development topics is also available for sale HERE.

Seven Steps to a Successful Membership Drive
An article from Cooperative Grocer, read more HERE.

Conducting a Feasibility Study
A feasibility study is considered an essential step in planning for a co-op. This chapter from University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperative’s manual, “Cooperatives: A Tool for Community Economic Development,” is a helpful introduction to feasibility studies. Read more HERE.

Developing a Business Plan
From the same University of Wisconsin manual, this chapter focuses on developing a business plan for your new co-op. Click HERE

NCBA: How to Start a Co-op
Information from the National Cooperative Business Association on hot to start a co-op, HERE.

Guide to New Co-op Development
This online publication from Cornell University is for all types of co-ops, but provides a good overview of the process of development a new co-op. For more info, click HERE.

River Valley Market Cooperative
A new food co-op that will be opening in March of 2008. Visit their web site for information. If you have serious questions about the nuts and bolts of starting a co-op, contact board president Ed Maltby.

Other Links:

National Co-op Bank (

Cooperative Development Services (CoCoFist) (

National Cooperative Grocers Association (

National Cooperative Business Association (

Cooperative Grocers Information Network (

Cooperative Grocer Magazine (

Blooming Prairie Foundation (

University Of Wisconsin
Comment by Stowe Boyd on December 5, 2011 at 9:58am

I've set up a website for the Beacon Food Coop community -- -- so browse there and click the Join tab if you'd like to get more information.

I hope to see you at the next meeting, tentatively scheduled for 17 January.

Comment by Dan Fainstein on December 1, 2011 at 5:51pm
I'll be at the coop meeting - thanks Stowe!
Comment by Sarah B. F. on November 29, 2011 at 3:20pm

Thought this might interest the locavores - Homeopathy for the Cold & Flu Season - workshop this Saturday, December 3rd at Common Ground Farm!


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