Trustees: Brian Drayton, Naomi Schoenfeld, Alice Groh, Barb Healy, Ashley Renwick, Lincoln Geiger, Anthony Graham.
Farmer: Silvano Biffis.
Guest: Tatum Hammer.
Brian opened the meeting with Steiner’s verse for the beginning of the week from the Calendar of the Soul.
A last look at Chapter 5 of Farms of Tomorrow Revisited. This led to a discussion about the different areas of work of the farmers and the board. The Kearsarge Food Hub was mentioned and Alice will be visiting there soon and will report back to us on how they operate.
Benjamin sent pictures of his visit with Nila to other creameries.
Silvano spoke about the need to reseed the hay fields in order to get the quality and quantity of hay that we need. We will start with the Orchard Field, which could be done over two years.
We need to set up a reseeding rotation schedule, which would take place over six years to cover all the fields. We could reseed one per year and then start at the beginning again. We need to estimate the costs of seed and ashes and make sure we have enough compost to do the job. The costs will be built into the annual budget.
As the fertility of the hay fields is raised, our land should be able to supply the hay needed by our current herd of 30 cows.
We currently produce more cheese than yogurt from our excess milk and we discussed the possibility of changing to more yogurt and less cheese to increase the profitability of the creamery, if we can sell that much yogurt.
We decided to increase the price of milk to $14 per gallon, beginning December 1st. We have not increased the price in many years, and other farms selling raw milk are charging as much or even more.
The price of bread will increase from $5 per loaf to $5.50 per loaf on Dec 1st.
A conversation about the possibility of providing eggs, yogurt and meat to members as part of their pledge will be scheduled for a future board meeting.
Ross Hall will visit next week to explore a possible apprenticeship with Silvano.
All current apprentices will be leaving the farm by Sunday 31st, October.
Ad About Vegetable Grower
Brian will write an addition to the ad, detailing compensation.
We need to find a bookkeeper to replace Barbara. An email will be sent to members to see if there is somebody who can take over this job.
Budget for 2022/2023
Naomi and Anthony will begin collecting information about next year’s budget, with help from Barbara if possible. Brian will check with Barbara about the number of hours per week to do the job.
We will hold a member meeting in order to work out how we can make the farm more sustainable by lowering the amount of land used per year to grow vegetables. How will we manage financially? The new rotation will have both positive and negative results and we need to hear from members.
They need to know what the board and farmers have and have not worked out so far, and we need to hear their ideas, questions and fears, so that we can go forward together with a new picture that is understood and agreed to by all.
A meeting to address the issues will be held in the Garden Room at Groh Farm at 2pm on Sunday 14thNovember.
We are still looking for board members to replace those who have to cycle off the board in April. There is a possibility that the by-laws might need to be changed to accommodate the need for continuity at this time. Brian is prepared to continue as president for one more year and to be shadowed by someone who will take over from him the following year. David Graham will visit soon as a potential new board member.
Brian closed the meeting with the Calendar of the Soul verse for the latter part of the week.
Next Meeting – Tuesday 2nd November at 6pm in the Garden Room.