We learned about several big plans for the farm from our farm-partners at this year’s meeting, besides doing the financials, signed documents, and general review of maintenance projects completed/planned. First, they had researched how/whether to classify the property as farmland for property tax purposes. There was talk about a new well and/or well pump to satisfy the increasing water needs during the hottest months of the year, especially as they plan to add their FOURTH production high tunnel. And they will be investigating the best way to better insulate the old farmhouse. Some of these projects will plan to be launched in 2020, while others may become longer term projects. In general, however, Alison and I were very positive about all the proposals.
However, the biggest news of the previous year was really just a recap of a project that came up during one of our quarterly check-in meetings earlier in the year: we decided, together, that the WFC would sell the Airstream camp trailer that had been used to house farm apprentices, guests, and briefly as an AirBnB income producer for the WFC. We would also sell the Kubota B1700 diesel tractor and bucket loader that had been a workhorse for the Rector’s, and then for our farm partners. Then the WFC would use the proceeds to purchase a new (or ‘new-ish’) tractor with a slightly bigger frame and engine (we settled on the Kubota B2300 series and companion bucket). After hashing through how the financials would work, and then dividing up the research and sales responsibilities, we were able to accomplish all of that, PLUS we had enough income left over from the sales of both pieces of equipment to purchase a new rechargable electric powered ride-on grass mower! It was kind of amazing how well the plan worked out, including seeing the excitement of the new owner of the Airstream and hearing about his plans for it.