The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Community tool coop

Community tool coop

Chris M.
Gray, ME
Post #: 61
We've talked in past about starting a community coop for shared tools. Where I've run across this idea elsewhere, it seems to be - for Northeast - about 500 acres in scale.

Here are some of the things that at this point I've got to purchase regardless.

  • A plucker
  • Transplanters (see Johnny's 9028, 9178)
  • A heavy duty electric wood spliiter (20 ton+)
  • Solar power array suitable for real-time sunny drive to plucker, spliiter, chipper, etc....
  • Seed saving gear - screens, blowers, rigs

If some sort of a coop can be formed, then bigger, heavier, more rugged gear would be appropriate. This would be "Portland North", probably something delimited by Allen Ave, Windham, New Gloucester and Yarmouth. Email me if you are interested in this - either to join it or to figure out a meta-structure.

Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 1,121
Thanks for posting this, Chris. Yes, there has been some talk of this in the past and we haven't gotten to the point of doing anything about it. Successful models vary, but many of them are community or neighborhood based tool libraries or coops (esp in cities and in suburbs). Given our distribution in the landscape here in the areas surrounding Portland and the types of tools you're describing, the range you describe makes sense.
Ted M.
Brunswick, ME
Post #: 314
Don't think this is exactly what you have in mind, Chris, but it's along the same line, IMO.

I didn't know that some libraries across the country actually have tool lending sections, but they do! I think this may be something on my own radar.

Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 1,132
Oh, good piont, Ted. It all starts with the lendable Kill-O-Watt which almost all public libraries in Maine have for lending now....
Hazel O.
user 67581422
Portland, ME
Post #: 1

Did this initiative ever proceed? I'm new in town and was also wondering about a tool lending library. My most recent inquiry at the local library led me to believe there is no Portland City effort to start one.

I've been a user of this formal and informal resource in other areas and would be game to work to look into starting one/support one here....for communities beyond permaculture as well. Thus, if there is still a core group working on this who could use an extra hand... please contact me.

That said, perhaps there is already a viable working alternative? In my quick search it seemed that the peer-to-peer sharing and rental alternatives via most collaborative consumption websites were pretty sparse in the Portland area...but please, if someone knows that I'm missing a key resource, I'd be wicked grateful if you'd point me to it! :) (At the moment, I'm interested in borrowing a glass bottle cutter ...)

Best wishes!
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 2,285
Hi Hazel - Anna Sommo and I organized a couple of meetings on this topic and I think there is interest. We just need to form a core group of 2-3 people who can be the lead organizers. If you're interested, connect with Anna on this list or at Cultivating Community. Feel free to use Resilience Hub as a meeting place if needed or for help to get people to get involved. I think beyond a few organizers, we were thinking that a location and a small grant for some of the tools, materials, systems might also be useful (many tools could be donated, as well). Lots of great examples of tool libraries from all over North America! This would be a great time to get it going here.
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