Coonamessett Farm

Feb. 10, 2015
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Hi all,

 

Its winter; the time of year for cold, snow, and ice. In another few weeks though we will be thinking spring; cold, rain, and mud. Depressing thoughts for a depressing time of year.

 

It is also that time of year again when we are completely out of money; lots of it having gone to the government (end-of-year tax payments and many fees). I used to borrow using my home equity loan to get us through, however, the Feds did over the banking laws since the great recession; the result is that I can no longer get home financing since the farm is a “commercial” property. I can get a commercial loan, using my first born as collateral, but they can repossess the chickens so that’s a non-starter. This leaves us in the position of finding new funding strategies; I feel like a governor who pledged not to raise taxes. I thought of increasing the membership fee for those that winter-over down south. I figure they can afford it with all the heating fuel they’re saving (as long as they don’t spend fuel savings at beach bars). I thought of that fund-raiser while shoveling snow (between thoughts of beach bars). However, someone pointed out that this fund-raising approach might seem spiteful so it’s off the table. This leaves buying lottery tickets and getting out the membership mailing (buying stamps); both approaches putting money into government coffers. I am starting to see a pattern.

 

To break the government hold I am attaching the membership application and CSA applications to this email. The trick is how to get you to print them out, fill them out, and mail them in with a check. Of course, if we were Internet savvy we could have you do this online.  Setting up an online account has been on my to-do list for a few years but keeps getting bumped by more urgent issues, and the fact that I don’t know how. So please take the time to send in your membership now and joining the CSA. If you join the 18-week produce CSA or six-month meat CSA before March 15th you will receive a coupon for one of our fresh baked pies (to use before October 31st). Picture this as a TV commercial; some ragged looking sheep standing out in the snow with sad faces; an off-screen voice saying “for just sixteen cents per day you can help feed these poor sheep”. You get the idea.

 

We had some good responses to the idea of using volunteers and compensating with some sort of barter arrangement. I am going to develop this further once I stop shoveling; just don’t know exactly how. We always have tasks such as fence repair and painting. There is a large amount of greenhouse work. We have some major repair/construction jobs. We are going to put up a new poultry building by the wind turbine (building rotted); we are going to rebuild the back deck of the farm store (roof leaks badly); we have to replace the garden mart greenhouse with some sort of structure (storm crushed); and we need to revitalize the members’ Jacuzzi and tap room (consumed by staff). We also want to redo the kid’s play area; make it more of a miniature farm than the current plastic toy disposal area.

 

We are looking for a new Barn manager; Renee wants to move on into an office job. This is a very hard job; taking care of the animals in all types of weather. It involves lots of shoveling and lifting; lots of physical labor. You need to get to know each animal by name, their likes and dislikes, their dreams and aspirations. This is a full-time year-round job. Please look around for candidates and put them in touch with us here at the farm.

 

May the snow shovel be with you!

 

Farmer Ron