Monday, February 27, 2006

Farm Update Feb 27th

Germantown Community Farm Update Monday February 27, 2006 (From Ashley McNamara)

Hello everyone!

Today was another exciting day in the progress of our little farm project. After a weekend of pruning fruit trees, clearing brush, and feasting with housemates, friends, and neighbors, we woke up this morning to cold clear sunshine and decided over breakfast whose names were going to go on our DBA (Doing Business As) form. Then Kaya, Courtney, Sascha, and I (Ashley Mc.) went down to the county clerk's office in Hudson and filed the paperwork to officially register as the Germantown Community Farm! Bobby, Erica, and Ashley L. stayed home to feed the animals, jumpstart trucks, and take care of the house.

The last few weeks have been pretty amazing around the farm. We've got a lot going on:

* We finished the "Hue and Cry" and the "Germanator," the new zine/newsletters of our community.
* We've received $2600 in donations towards the start-up costs of our first year CSA project!
* In the barns, we've built a milking stand, fixed the goat's roof, chicken-wired the ceiling, built stall doors, and otherwise cleaned up our goat sheds and chicken coops to make our animals' lives comfier and to prepare for the arrival of our baby goats. We're averaging 12 eggs a day from our healthy hens, who've been glad to see some of our excessive rooster population depart.
* We've hosted pruning workshops with a different teacher every weekend in February. Friends from far and near have helped us prune and clear a massive chunk of our old apple and cherry orchards, as well as clearing brush and old trees from the roadside and our future vegetable field.
* We've secured a little Bolens tractor, pruning equipment, and other tools and supplies.
* We've gotten the results back on our soil test from the local cooperative extension, and have established a relationship with a small farm advisor who's helping us plan our season and figure out business/tax details.
* We put up a frame for an early-spring greenhouse and ordered plastic from a local distributor.
* We've completed an extensive seed order and received a huge donation of organic seeds from friends on the West Coast.
* We've painted and organized our kitchen.
* We've fixed multiple leaky pipes and repaired our shower.
* We've established a cleaning schedule for the house that's actually working.

And it seems like we're all still managing to sleep and get fed...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Initial Tortuga Questions February 2006

Feb 2nd, 2006
Dear Germantown Friends,
We love you guys and your project totally rocks! We are so excited about all the projects you are doing and would love to be an important part of your CSA project. We are also committed to making a good and solid Urban-Rural connection.
So this is what we are willing to commit to if you want us to:
ÿ We are willing to be a drop-off point for NYC for your CSA. We have room to store it (in our garage out back) and the will to organize drop offs in midtown, Brooklyn and be the drop off in Queens. We are also willing to help separate and organize drop off with other collectives.
ÿ We are willing to use the Skiff (our van) to drop off and pay for the gas involved.
ÿ We are willing to solicit collectives/groups in the city to join the CSA
ÿ We are willing to act as a liaison between the CSA participants (people getting food from you) and the Farm.
ÿ We are willing to help manage the payments, work-exchanges, etc.
ÿ Willing to work with Swarm Press to duplicate any literature/zines for the food shares about what is going on the Farm.
ÿ Housing for those coming to the city for CSA and Green market stuff in the city.
We do have a few questions for you guys
? How much will each share be?
? When will the CSA season start?
? Will there be a work-share piece to this?
? Would you like participants to come and help out with farm work?
? What kind of food?
? How can we do a sliding scale for folks who can’t afford it? We suggest that the participant circle try to self-organize a sliding-scale (subsidizing) shares of other participants.
? Will there be a web-site?
? Should we have some kind of meeting? Maybe four times a year (split between the city and the Farm)
? Ideally, how many shares will you have available?
? How often do you think you are going to have food available? ( i.e. weekly) ? How long do you think the CSA season will be?
? Can we get the great fresh bread as part of the share too?(Alternatively you could have participants pay extra for the bread)