Monday, November 28, 2005

Farm Meeting Notes Day After Thanksgiving 2005

Minutes from our 2nd Farm Meeting
The day after thanksgiving, the grand year 2005

Proposal to create an agenda and people noted…
-money (for the farm, where it comes from, where it goes)
-goat fence
-lightning tree (erica’s investigation of manure sources and feed prices)
-diesel truck
-chocolate (move the whole bowl to the table)
-low-till, no-till, mulching
- tractor ideas
- season schedule

From Steven, 12’ x whatever length we want hoop house,
But…we need to buy plastic, if it went on foundation we would need to construct a fence around it, and it probably makes sense to put it near the water source (spring fed pond) and where the field will be (behind the pond)
Go on a site walk after meeting!
What about greenhouse near animals…chicken heated???compost heated???
Although….when we get a nice glass greenhouse with insulated north wall, that can be chicken heated…
The green house now will be for seed starting in february etc.
Sheep shed; move it down for garden tools
Site walk after meeting and little greenhouse (tires and bay window) to be run-in shed for ducks and geese with shelves for house garden seed starting. Little greenhouse needs to be completed in the next few weeks.

Chris and Ashley…
Roof of goatshed figure out leak spots, chickens have bad and unsanitary roosts,
Make amendment corner of garden shed into a nice feed room
Hay: estimate we will need 60 bails to last us through the next four months,
Best price $2/bail hopefully we can get it all at once
We need to do a pre-winter clean…stripping out banty shed and chicken coop, plastic banty windows, Ashley will make a list of the daily animal routine (morning and night)
So that we can all have it on our radar,
Think about……geese and ducks, are they worth our time and resources?
Submersible coil for goat water (figure out finances for it)

Waiting for feed prices, see if it makes sense to by individual grains and mix our own feed or by the feed already mixed. Erica also got #’s from farmers around that feed their animals organic grain so that we can get their shit.
Shall we get more chickens for the spring, we have space and selling organic eggs at the green market is bling.
Rooster Problem!!!! We have way too many

Ben’s sentiment is that people who invest in the farm very certainly should be reimbursed, we ought separate animal and vegetable expenses, and keep track of our hours.
Still, we will not be able to cover living expenses on the profits from a first year farm without needing to work a fair amount off the land
Grants? (there are soooo many kinds, we don’t need to have our own 501c status, especially if someone claims us as their project)
Research the options and come back…
Also Individual fundraising, if we make a solid plan and solicit funding.
Get people involved at this stage!
And we will have to put $ in at this stage as well, where will that come from? (finance section of Monday house meeting)
Quick summary (given that Ben is leaving and we are continually explaining ourselves to people) so that we are all on the same page…..
We are talking about an educational, sustainable community farm project. The CSA is more about building community that about becoming a successful market farm.
Lots of nodding…
Market farm is more about subsidizing projects that we are ideologically connected to (i.e. South Bronx CSA) so that we don’t have to lose money on them
South Bronx CSA update,… Ben talked to Harry and he says that even just growing one crop and greens would be very useful for them.
Steven also says that anything we want to grow for his distributor would be great (esp. Broccoli Rabe)
Look into farms that want specific crops
(edible flowers, basil, arugula, broccoli rabe, collards)

Insurance needs to change,
Registration will expire at end of month,
Will be farm truck,
How can we collectivize expenses,
Probably draw from farm expenses which need to be separated from House expenses,
Maybe…Sascha can insure it, it sure would be a heck of a lot cheaper!!!

There is a roto-tiller coming so maybe we could just use a local farmers tractor for work exchange and then use the roto-tiller for the rest.

We need to make a list of specific things and exact $ amounts to show folks and solicit funds (next farm meeting)
Tractor: ask….Ken and Barbie(kaya and Dylan) Grape Farmer neighbors, and John down the road.
We need a discussion about how we will be farming, what model/ example do we want to look toward?

Thursday December 1st 6pm
To be coupled with Bobby’s 2-week anniversary meeting.
-make the list of specific things we need and $ amounts
-visioning (what methods and why) (what kind of farm do we want to be?)
- Tractor updates
- Drafting of a season schedule

Things tabled for Mondays house Meeting:
- work party scheduling (goat fence, wood etc.)
- finances!
- New rooster home check in

Designated tasks:
Roosters: Chris will post at feed shop, Erica will make some calls and ask around, Kaya will post on Freecycle.
Check in about geese and ducks (are they worth it?)… (house)
Ashley:call greenhouse plastic suppliers (farm)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Farm Meeting Notes November 20, 2005

Farm Meeting November 20, 2005

Garden<>Farm Relationship:

Garden: diversity, test varieties, food for house

1 Acre Farm plot: Tilled earth, trusted varieties for market

Folks involved in project & their interests and potential commitments:

Ben- Bottom lining market garden, full time +- commitment with very part time outside job. Orchard care a large commitment also and helping out with goats (milking) birds & bees. Will take part in seed saving, greenhousemushroom & herb projects.

Erica-Working on farm during week according to need and 14th Street Green Market on weekends. Orchard care & bees as well.

Kaya-Part time working on farm, part time networking, events, community outreach, seed saving projects, point person for volunteers, bottom lining house garden. Bees & Orchard as well.

Ashley-Part time laborer 2-3 days a week womanpower. Will work on educational aspects/workshops in barn, tours. Bee person.

Courtney- Seed Bank, seed processing, events, farm work (not full time) education work 2 days a week. Bee person.

Betaya- 2 days a week farming, education, marketing in city

Moss-Greenhouse and other farm construction, herbal business, herb bed, handy mon of farm. Shitake mushroom project

Sascha- Farming a bunch of days a week, Greenhouse, early season seedling work, curriculum, events, folks biking up to farm with times up from city.

Ashley Mac-Animals, milk goats part time, house garden, seed saving, curriculum, labor on farm 1-2 days a week, Forest farming project on part of orchard.

Chris(not present) Animal caring

Farm Schedule Forming! Weekly list come season
February workshops on weekends

Erica-greenhouse glass source
Kaya-Rebar, Plastic, PVC easiest way to go


Green Market 14th street (specialty goods)
Roadside honor system stand on road next to our house

CSA- This year we are building the groundwork

South Bronx CSA- 1 crop offering possibility

Alternative CSA model- every week pick a 10$ or 20$ box depending on what we produce (Ashley Mac)

Local small CSA possibility for this year

Think out Fermentation/Cannery


$ and/or work exchange for students


Hudson Valley Ecovillage list serve

Property stuff-

-Keep Asa informed in detail
-Keep good records of farm
-Keep track of investments
-Write proposal for this farming season with Asa and our signatures.
*Land use, people and time involved, $, equity?
-Contemplate possibility of evergreen lease for next year(mutual agreement between owner and leasee renewed every year with a several year time to move out if lease is not renenewed.)

Follow up for Friday 2:00 meeting
Moss & Sascha-Greenhouse plans
Erica-compost sources
Ashley Mac- Goat and Chicken advice, contact Rafter
We must all contemplate compensation for farmers (reduced rent, split of market $)
Fundraisers for initial setup
Kaya-contact farmer Dan, Renard, calling Asa