FCC Board Minutes 7/7/21
July 7th 2021.
Trustees: Brian Drayton, Naomi Schoenfeld, Donna Riley, Lincoln Geiger, Alice Groh, Ashley Renwick, Anthony Graham.
Visitors: Barb Healy, Bodhi Renwick.
Ashley opened the meeting with observations on the farm and an expression of her appreciation and gratitude for the richness of the life of the farm.
The text for the study was ‘A Native Hill’ by Wendell Berry, which generated a lot of discussion around the inevitability of the breakdown of our relationship with the earth and the soil in this age of growing human consciousness, along with the need for human beings to endeavor to find a path to a more harmonious relationship to the land.
Lincoln said the first cut of hay was mostly done on Abbot Hill and the next big cut will be at the Monastery at Derbyshire Farm. 30 bales from the first cut were rained on and will be used as mulch hay. The second cut is looking promising due to all the rain. Lots of new calves and lots of children at the farm.
The roofing will continue in cooler weather, after the haying.
Anthony reported on the field where he has been weeding, with occasional help from members. The endive is all weeded and the focus has shifted to the second planting of carrots. The parsnips will probably need to be turned under due to poor germination and weed pressure. The first planting of various kinds of cabbage has been rough weeded and is waiting for further attention.
Alice has been in conversation with a lawyer, Laura Hartz, about putting her land into conservation, and she wondered if Laura could provide us with expertise about building a big new creamery at the farm. Alice felt that there could be issues relating to securing financing for the building, since it will be on conservation land that is owned by the ECF.
It was noted that we still need to have Barbara Johnson, Treasurer, run figures on what the impact would be on the farm if the creamery were to become a separate operation.
Lincoln and Tobin have met with Benjamin and are due to meet again on Friday 9th July. It appears from the first meeting that a clear business model does not yet exist and they intend to speak with Benjamin about the complexities involved in a separate business being established on the farm and that such an arrangement could make it hard to find investors.
Naomi feels that she is getting up to speed as our new treasurer. She and Anthony will look at the budget layout together to eliminate any potential issues.
After much discussion we came to two decisions with regard to future apprentices.
1) We need to make it clear to apprentices that we don’t do hourly wages for anybody at the farm, including them.
2) In future when apprentices are taken in it needs to be clearly spelt out to them that the person who signs the apprentice agreement is the only person we will accept living in the apartment. No relatives, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, children or pets can be brought in to share the space at any time during the apprenticeship. There is too much potential for chaos for the apprentices, the farmers, the board and the farm in general.
The following items were not dealt with at the meeting and we decided that a special meeting, with more time to go into the details, should be held in the fall. This extended board meeting should be followed by a meeting for all members in the winter that address these questions:
1) How shall we find new board members?
2) How shall we seek new young farmers?
3) How shall we revise the original ‘Aims and Intentions’.
Ashley closed the meeting with a quotation from Wendell Berry.
Wednesday 4th August at 7pm in the Garden Room.