Trustees: Brian Drayton, Naomi Schoenfeld, Lincoln Geiger, Alice Groh, Ashley Renwick, Anthony Graham
Farmers: Silvano Biffis, Benjamin Meier
Guests: Barb Healy, Tatum Hammer, Graham Taber, Darcy Drayton
Tatum opened the meeting with a passage from Rilke.
We continued our study of Chapter 5 of Farms of Tomorrow Revisited.
There seems to be a lot in this chapter that is relevant to our current situation at the farm so we will continue with it at our next meeting.
Silvano - He feels that the creamery will come under pressure due to Danon dropping so many dairy farms in the Northeast. He noted that the Connollys' dairy has recently failed three tests and though they are still in business he feels the pressure on small dairies is going to grow.
He feels that we need to look for a new vegetable grower and to let the members know that we are doing that.
He also noted that that our various farm initiatives, such as the creamery and the Bean and Berry Farm, need to acknowledge that they are a part of TWCF in their signs and their literature.
Benjamin reported that he is doing projects with milk from other farms, including sheep and goat milk. He would like to do a specialty cheese with milk from Stonewall Farm. In order to accommodate this the creamery would need another cheese cave and a packaging room and at some point there would need to be another full time person in the creamery.
Lincoln thought we should make an offer to High Mowing for their trailer, to use it as a cheese cave. Benjamin thought we could offer them $2,000 worth of yogurt as an exchange. He also talked about needing to know exactly which cheeses he would be making before building a new creamery.
He reported on a visit to the creamery at Brookford Farm, which he thought was well run.
Barb Healy was unanimously voted in as a board member, She will start off by finishing Donna’s term until the annual members’ meeting in April.
It was decided that it is not a problem that some members do not have a connection with Anthroposophy, but we felt that we need a clear definition of how many board members should have a working relationship with Anthroposophy, since biodynamic agriculture is grounded in that worldview.
If necessary we could make the apprentice living space into farmer housing.
If we can grow three acres we could either grow for 60 member households or try to source some produce from Matt Pearson and other growers.
There is a possibility that the two acres of land that has been newly plowed will not be ready for next year. In that case could we make it work with one and a third acres plus bought in produce?
Naomi gave a brief report on her conversation with Benjamin a couple of weeks ago.
She reported that they had a good conversation, and that they found differences between the ways the broader farm accounting and the creamery accounting are handled, that would benefit from being brought together. She and Benjamin had some ideas regarding ways to tackle that, which she can share at a future Board meeting. They also discussed his wider thoughts and plans regarding the creamery, much of which overlapped with what he shared in his report above.
Naomi also mentioned that as background to that, she is looking at ways to better understand expenses related to the milk production and the dairy.
Alice raised the possibility of selling vegetables from other farms to non-members in our store. There seemed to be potential problems with that idea but we will look at it again.
We ended by noting the need to find a new farmer, as well at the need to write to members to keep them in the loop about the search for a new farmer.
Anthony closed the meeting with a pithy quotation from Wendell Berry.
Next Meeting – Tuesday 14th September at 7pm in the Garden Room