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FCC Board Minutes - March 10, 2020


March 10, 2020.

Hilltop Café, 6pm


Board members: Brian Drayton, Barbara Johnson, Anthony Graham, Donna Riley.

Farmers: Benjamin Meier, Elad Sadeh.

Visiting: Barb Healy. Apprentices: Trey Cochrane, Alayna Samsai

Action items are highlighted in yellow.


Brian read from Wendell Berry's poem "How to be a poet."

The minutes were approved with the changes sent by Jamie.

1. Study

Benjamin lead us in a visualization exercise using an onion.

We then continued our discussion of Chapter III of School of the Elemental Beings by Karsten Massei. We will continue with Chapter IVnext month.

2. Farmer updates

Trey told us that he and Elad had seeded the onions in the greenhouse.

Alayna reported that they had weaned 3 calves (Storm lost his voice in the process). Benjamin has purchased milk 3 times from Stonewall Farm, an organic, holistically managed dairy in Keen, NH ( and recommends that we read the book, Holistic Management, Third Edition:A commonsense Revolution to Restore Our Environment, by Allan Savory.

3. Planning for the budget meeting 3/14/20

The budget meeting will include the appointment of the trustees (BOD members)

Anthony's, Barbara's, and Jamie's terms are up this year, and all are eligible for re-appointment. Anthony and Barbara wish to continue. Jamie tendered his resignation this morning, but indicated he would remain on the BOD until a replacement was found. This will not be possible in time to present a name to the members' meeting on Saturday. Donna asked if there was a BOD “job description” anywhere. There isn’t, but in the past we have agreed that candidates should be someone who’s been a member for at least 5 years. Other skills (financial, legal, etc. ) might be of value. At the next meeting, we should discuss whether there are particular skills we should be looking for in a replacement for Jamie.

Barb Healy presented FOTFA’s request that the farmers be present at the budget meeting.

After some discussion, it was agreed that they should attend if they choose to.

4. Farmers as pledging members

A question has been raised about the appropriateness of the farmers making membership pledges, which has been the custom from the beginning of the farm. We discussed this at some length. More reflection is needed, as this touches on the commitment in our Aims & Intentions that all members are farmers, while the skilled people who take responsibility for the dairy, creamery, and vegetables are distinguished as "active farmers." Does this make sense now? We will return to this question later this year. In the meantime, the farmers should decide for themselves whether they will pledge or not.

5. Finalizing the plans for the Pledge Potluck:

Benjamin’s schedule plans for 70 minutes of ‘meeting time’ before the potluck.

We agreed to start the meeting at 3:30pm so that people with children would not get home too late. The potluck dinner would start at 5pm.

Brian will contact Evan in the High Mowing kitchen to ensure he knows to expect us.

Music: Benjamin will contact Bruce Darby

Benjamin’s proposed schedule was approved.

Anthony will send a newsletter reminding the members of the date, time, and schedule.

6. Meeting with Geraldine Kline of High Mowing:

Anthony and Lincoln had a productive meeting with Geraldine. In the next two weeks, she will draft a new agreement for relations between the school and the farm.

7. Corona virus planning:

It is possible there will be reduced attendance at both the budget and pledge meetings.

Anthony has already received communications from some members asking what precautions the farm is taking. After some discussion, we agreed that members should take the precautions they believe are necessary for their own sense of safety — as they will do when going to a grocery store, for example. If farmers become ill, they will of course quarantine themselves. Brian will draft a statement from the board, and Anthony will send a newsletter explaining the farm’s position.

The meeting adjourned at 7:45

Brian read a poem by Emily Dickenson: "The soul should always stand ajar."

Next meeting April 7, 2020 at 7pm in the café.

Note that the meeting time will be one hour later to accommodate farmers' work day — we are moving to our growing-season schedule.

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