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Farm News - June 2019


We are pleased to present the first Four Corners Community Newsletter, a new project of the farm's board, in collaboration with the farmers and community members.  We will be experimenting with the "look and feel," as well as with its publishing schedule and the kinds of information to be included.

We hope that this will:

  • supplement or support the information that you can find on the Farm's website  (

  • give members another way to share with each other, and strengthen communication to and from the board (including FOTF, the Friends of the Farm) and the farmers

  • make more economical use of your email bandwidth, by combining many kinds of farm news into one "stream"

There are a lot of things to figure out about this project. We will publish the newsletter at least monthly, and probably more often. Back issues will be archived in the Farm News section of our website.

Ideas, suggestions, and comments are welcome — please E-Mail Us (there's a link on the upper right of the farm's homepage).

Capital account is now open for donations!

The board announced at our April pledge meeting that we would create a capital improvements account, so that members and others could make donations to improve or renew the farm's infrastructure, as we move forward. Some of you made donations right then, even though the accounting hadn't been worked out.

We are happy to say that we now can receive donations earmarked for the capital fund. Make sure that you write "Capital Donation" clearly in the memo area of your check, so that we can keep your capital donations separate from pledge payments or farm store purchases.  Please note that the Farm is not a nonprofit, so donations cannot be used for charitable tax deductions. We are looking for ways to  make it possible for charitable deductions to be made towards the future of the Farm — stay tuned.

We will give updates from time to time — in this newsletter and other ways — so that you know the progress of this fund. In addition, the farmers, the Cooperative Board, and the ECF (Educational Community Farm) Board are in the early stages of designing a fundraising campaign that will reach out beyond the farm community to others who may want to support our continuing experiment in sustainable, biodynamic agriculture in the challenging conditions of New Hampshire.

First capital project: Loafing Shed urgently needed.  After our cows are milked, they and their calves move out onto the concrete pad next to the milking barn. At the far end of the pad stands the Loafing Shed, where the cows can take refuge from the weather. The loafing shed is also an integral part of our composting system, as it is a place that manure from the pad is collected until it's moved to the composting area.

If you look at the shed, you'll see a major build-up of manure and used hay —  it's to the point that some cows don't want to climb up there to take shelter. The reason is that the building is so fragile that the act of cleaning it out with a front-end loader might bring the whole thing down.

Existing Loafing Shed

More than this: The shed might well collapse under another heavy winter season such as we've had in some recent years — and cows might even be trapped inside (and harmed). The shed's been repaired, reinforced, and kept standing for some years, but there's only so long that "palliative care" will be possible, and there are signs this might be the year.

Farmer's Sketch of New Loafing Shed (Credit: Silvano Biffis)

Plans are being drawn up to replace the shed this fall if at all possible — design sketches will be posted to the Farm News section of our website. We are seeking estimates from various contractors to come in and do the job, but our best current guess is that the whole project will cost as much as $80,000. This is way out of reach of our current operating budget, so donations to the capital fund are definitely needed to make the new shed a reality.

If you have been thinking of making a capital donation, now is a great time to do so!

Friends of the Farm Meeting - June 27, 2019

** Thursday, June 27, 2019 **

Friends of the Farm invites you to an OPEN-TO-ALL meeting! ( Continuation of last meeting, at a different time so others may attend.)

Details and contact information below.

Wondering how Friends of the Farm decides which activities to sponsor? Wondering how you can influence those decisions? Join us as we plan our goals for this season! We WANT your INPUT!

Thursday, June 27, 2019 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Location: Donna Riley’s house: 8 Cross Rd, Amherst NH 03031

Please RSVP (so we know how many chairs to provide) to: Donna Riley, 603-546-5737

“Farming has always been community work, with families coming together to share the labor and the harvest. New Englanders of past generations gathered for work "bees", celebrations of shared community and the power of many hands. Whether a haying bee, a barn raising bee, or a potato harvest bee, neighbors came to aid each other and to feast and celebrate at the end of a day's work-- a work party, in our modern language. The harvest is the highpoint of the season, a time of bounty, but for the farmer it is also the end of a many months' labor, and the energy of a buzzing crowd of worker bees carries the year to a strong and spirited finish.”

FOTF is hosting a “bee” meeting for all members!

Purpose of Friends of the Farm (FOTF): To encourage community among the Four Corners Cooperative family. Examples include; organizing festivals, community dinners, work projects, fundraising, meals for farmers, recipes, classes, cooking groups, etc.

To encourage the spirit (philosophy) of the original farm organism as we move into the future. This includes and is not limited to: Biodynamics, farm members pledging to support our entire farm organism, (thus, separating money from the purchasing of food), and farm members gifting time, talents and treasure to support the farm organism.

Event Reminder: Solstice Walk - June 22, 2019 - 3pm

We recently sent out a FOTF invitation for the up-coming Solstice Walk, led by our cheesemaker, Benjamin Meier. In case you missed it: Click here for the event details

See you there!

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