The Gossamer Foundation

A nonprofit dedicated to global sustainability and local foods.
We can't have one without the other.

2014 PROJECTS

Course Descriptions | Course Schedules| Discount Store | Master Backyard Chicken Keeper | Contact Us

Coop Corps America | Poultry and Garden Clubs | Chicken Stimulus Package | Consulting Services | Sponsors & Partners


• Chicken Have-More Plan

• Occupy Backyards Declaration

• Chicken Skill Sets

• Know Your Egg Shed

• 7 Myths of Urban Chickens

• Strategies to Legalize Chickens

• Model City Chicks Law/Code/Ordinance and Useful Flyers

• Chickens as Bio-recyclers & Zero Waste Partners Saving BIG TIME Tax Payer Dollars

Chickens in Community Gardens & Congregational Flocks

• USDA "Expects You to Keep Chickens" Posters

 

Definition of Gossamer

The Butterfly Effect and On Gossamer Wings.
That tiny changes in input can quickly create an overwhelmingly different output; a tipping point.

The thin gauzy sheer, usually imperceptible veil between the worlds
linking ordinary human existence with the infinite network of all life.

“All of creation is sacred and alive, each part connected to each other part, each communicating in a creative cooperative commerce in which the smallest and the largest are equally involved.”
— Codicils by Jane Roberts

 “Every time you wink the stars move.” — Emerson

The Gossamer Foundation Mission Statement

The mission of Gossamer Foundation is to promote sustainability at all levels. This mission is based on the fact that our planet Earth is comprised of living ecosystems that have specific criteria and interrelated life-sytems that allow flora and fauna life to thrive. Preservation is not enough; we must strive for restoration.

Our forward looking vision is to provide training, skills and information that will help achieve ecological balance and sustainable development for current, and succeeding generations such that individuals, communities, and institutions gain the capability to be ecologically and economically self-sustainable.

Gossamer Foundation supports projects and activities that primarily focus on enabling local agriculture. This is our first priority. Such activities will promote local and regional sustainable food production systems grown by small-acreage family farms and gardeners. These projects are intended to help revitalize urban and rural agriculture as part of the solution to many of the problems our society faces today, including the health care crisis, nutritional poverty, top soil degradation, loss of biodiversity and other environmental problems.

Local foods can help decrease carbon footprints and the oil input requirements of large-scale, long-distance monoculture commercial foods. This will help decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, while at the same time improve the quality of our nutrition, health, environment, emergency preparedness and national security.

There is a back to the land movement happing all across American; and it's happening in backyards. The call to Occupy Backyards fits in with reclaiming stainability and self-security for individuals, families, communities and our country. The Pay it Forward practice is a strong component of Gossamer Foundation projects. This not only leverages the projects goals, but expands and fosters the reality that by helping others, we also help ourselves.

The Gossamer's Top Projects are:

1. The Chickens and You Training Series. This multi-level training provides intensive hands-on experience and information about not only how to raise and keep chickens, but more importantly, how to employ them in diversified small-scale food production. These food production systems can be used to employ poultry power in kitchen gardens, community gardens, congregational flocks, group homes, family farms, schools, correctional facilities, rehabilitation centers and other service oriented organizations.

2. The Coop Corps. The Coop Corps (CC) is a local network of volunteers who help organize, select and build appropriate chicken housing for qualified families or groups. The CC facilitates providing birds and local support for those who might not otherwise be able to have chickens. It's objective is to get folks involved with keeping a family flock and starting growing some of their food. Coop Corps Volunteers help coordinate the Chicken Stimulus Package and Coop Corps members help establish and run local Poultry and Garden Clubs for ongoing educational and networking meetings.

3. The Chicken Stimulus Package (CSP) establishes and provides networks to help get folks started and knowledable about family flocks. An emphasis is made on heritage birds for urban and rural flocks. These birds are slower growing to mature and, because of this, they have a highly nutritional meat and egg quality, along with outstanding taste. The CSP networks help create access, awareness and markets for poultry. Participants include major hatcheries as well as breed-specific poultry clubs and individual breeders. These individuals and companies make available:
• Fertile eggs for incubation—including for school projects
• Baby chicks
• Pullets (young female chickens)
• Non-commercial Cornish Cross meat birds

Another goal of the Chicken Stimulus Package is to assist first-time chicken owners with their family flock. The goal is to help jump-start first-time chicken keepers with knowledge and experience about chickens, and have support group to give advice on how to humanely and properly keep and employ their flock. CSP recipients are expected to then "Pay it Forward" by help others get started with a family flock and perhaps help with gardening. Many CSP recipients join, or help start, local Poultry and Garden Clubs.

4. Poultry and Garden Clubs. Something special happens when you get poultry people with gardeners. Club members feel a synergy and experience the cutting-edge of discovery. Every meeting has something educational about poultry and/or gardening.

Before long, the poultry people are putting in raised beds, small orchards. They help get the garden group their first coops and chickens. Simultaneously, the garden group is seed-swapping and sharing cuttings with the poultry people, who are experiencing growing edibles for the first time; green thumbs and eggs abound for all.

3. Farmers Market Fund. In looking at the local foods movement one major activity has a powerful domino effect. That is the existance of market places for local foods to be bought and sold. Across the country in the past few years have seen many new farmers markets opening and older markets expanding. There has been a tremendous groundswell of interest in local foods, especially in the inner cities and of people striving for better health. Part of this resurgence of farmers markets is due to the new health awareness and fittness lifestyles of American consumers. Growing interest in locally grown organic foods is also related to the GMOs, pesticides and herbicides concerns. There are frequent newspaper stories about carcinogens in mono-culture grown and raised GMO fruits, vegetables, dairy and meats. This is in lockstep with the Slow Foods and Slow Money movements.

To help improve and expand farmers’ markets, roadside stands, tail gate marketing, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities, the Gossamer Foundation's Farmers Market Fund is beening established to help connect donors with producers and market masters. Part of this project will include live and internet training for farmers' market vendors and market masters.

Inspiration for the Farmer's Markets Fund comes from a passage written in 1940.
"It may not be unreasonable to envision a renaissance of direct marketing produce from neighboring farms being brought in for direct sales in town, and townspeople going out to the country to buy their food. The extent to which such changes could develop is unlimined." —Lord Northbourne, Look to the Land, 1940

Consulting and Services

We also offer consulting & custom programs in the areas of:
• Chickens Toward Zero Waste
• Chickens in School Programs
• Chickens in Community Gardens
• Getting Chickens Legal in Your City, Town or Homeowner's Association
• Animal Control and Police Chicken Handling Workshop
• Chickens and YOU Trainer Training