Notes + Next Steps from the November Meeting

Meeting date: November 13, 2021

The farm is closed for the season! Three solid hours of rain this Saturday led to more of an impromptu meeting than we had planned for our last gathering of the year, but there’s still plenty to share about the farm progress and what we’ll be doing while these beds are resting.

Volunteers – be sure to check out our 2021 Volunteer Survey to share your feedback.

Not a volunteer but still want to share your feedback on the farm? We’ll be posting a broader community survey shortly. Stay tuned!

Updates

Production

  • All annual plants removed 
  • Ready for 2022 season:
    • Flower bulbs planted in ground for next season along with sage and other perennial ground cover.
    • Garlic from EJA Elementary mulched in and waiting for next summer
    • Blueberry and raspberry bushes will ride out the winter, get pruned back next spring

Harvest

  • The 2021 harvest season is over!
    •  22 official weeks of harvest for Rivertown Senior Apts and the community table at D.R. Evarts. 
    • ~700 servings (pints, bunches, pieces) of veggies harvested

Infrastructure

  • All 17 beds cleared, compost added and mulched in for the winter
    • Compost is aged goat manure + biochar 
    • Mulch is community leaf matter collected by Athens DPW
  • Signs removed – will be replaced with a “end of season” message
  • Seedlings trays, tools, buckets and other plastic material will be stored for the winter

Fundraising

  • 2021 farm budget is in the black! As of 11/15 we’re able to cover all expenses for this year and have around $300 ready for next season (more on 2022 funding below)
  • We exceeded our gofundme goal for the Community Shares program and will be able to deliver 8 weeks of CSA boxes (11 each week!) to the community + have additional ~$500 to buy in bulk wholesale items. 
  • Athens Community Foundation Grants submitted – we applied for two separate grants for the 2022 season. We should hear back on award amounts in early December
    • Expanding the Community Farm footprint: $3500 
      • 9 new beds for next season
      • Soil
      • Fencing materials
      • Insurance
    • Continuing Community Shares program bringing fresh vegetables, sourced from local farms, to at-risk populations in the Town of Athens by directly purchasing and delivering CSA shares: $11,280
      • Wholesale purchasing Jan – May
      • Approx 8 weekly shares June – Dec

Community

  • Screen Printing day a success! Printed over 40 shirts, bags, towels. 
  • Community Shares program started Wednesday 11/3 – will continue delivering produce boxes through 12/22, then move to bulk storage items. Boxes are distributed according to need specified by the organization: 
    • Athens Community Food Pantry (4)
    • Rivertown Senior Apts (2)
    • High Hill Food Pantry (3)
    • Hands and Hearts Mission (2)

Next Steps

  • Volunteers: Fill out our 2021 Volunteer Survey to share feedback and suggestions on your experience with the Athens Community Farm this season.  
  • Catie to paint end of season sign
  • Sarah to collect remaining farm items for storage
  • Sarah to report back on Community Foundation awards
  • Mary + Sarah to reach out to community for feedback: post on Athens Community Board, physical surveys at distribution locations
  • Sarah + others to continue Community Shares deliveries 
  • Sarah, Mary, Catie to hold organizer retrospective  
  • Everyone: Rest and reflect on all the amazing work done and think about what new things you’d want to see at the farm in 2022!

Next meeting will be – February 2022

Next working day – early Spring 2022

Remember to subscribe for info around monthly meetings (and other fun farm news).

You can also follow the farm on Facebook for news and updates!

Notes from past meetings can be found here.

Catie and Emma filling one of the last beds with leaves this Saturday. Beds are now prepped with compost and mulch and ready for a winter rest!

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