Monday, October 31, 2011

It Takes a Village Part II

This year we almost doubled our number of working share positions and it was one of the best changes I made this year! Working members receive a discount on their share in return for two hours a week of work for the farm. Many of working share members have gone above and beyond this requirement, contributing whatever it took to get the job done. They have been supporting me in many of the behind the scenes work that frees me up to stay focused working in the field. Let me extend a huge thank you to all of these people, as I introduce them below.
Staffing the pick up: Thank you Gene Lang, Georgia Kirkpatrick, Randi Weinberg, Stephanie Taglianetti, Katy McClure and Lisa Kolker for managing the pick-up smoothly all season long. You provided explanation for first timers picking up their shares, suggested recipes, promoted farm events and were the face of the farm for the shareholder community during those hours. I never could have accomplished what needed to get done in the field if it wasn’t for your help running the pick-up. Thank you for answering the same questions over and over and ensuring fellow shareholders had a pleasant experience at the farm!
The Weeding Team: Every time a weeding shareholder showed up for their weekly two hour shift I presented them with a herculean task, and never once did anyone of them even bat an eye. The weeds at our farm are thorny, tall, deep and downright ferocious. Thank you Sarah Punderson, Kristy Schultz, Eric Dougherty, Laura Demme, Catherine Provenzano and Katy Kilcullen (a Saul student) for all your hard work! Your task may have seemed endless at times but your efforts made a HUGE contribution. I cannot stress how grateful I am for all your help. In moments of despair and feeling overwhelmed, you were a pillar of support!
Newsletter: Thank you Ann Keiser for the tedious job of formatting and editing every single newsletter and posting it on our blog. These newsletters are crucial to sharing information to the shareholders, and you made them beautiful and easy to read. I never would have kept the blog up to date without you, and the newsletter was always professional looking and full of beautiful pictures. Thank you!
Event Coordinator: Nancy Dearden is the mastermind behind all of our potlucks, workshops and fundraisers. These types of events really help establish a sense of community for our members and offer an opportunity for people to gather and connect over the farm which brings us together. Thank you for your countless hours organizing these events this year.
Data Entry: Joan Stockton has brought our record keeping to a new level! After years of our record keeping consisting of un-analyzed papers in a three ring binder, we now have working excel files with which we can make educated decisions about next year based on real harvest data. I also want to thank Anna Hoover for stepping up to give Joan a hand with the arduous task of copying numbers into excel files. Thanks to the two of you, I can learn so much more from our year to year numbers.
Payments: Thank you Lisa Kolker for diligently keeping track of everyone’s payments. This is no small feat, with various discounts, staggered payment plans and such a large membership. This system was much more timely and organized this year, thanks to all your help!
Saul Liason: Jess McAtamney is technically a working member, but in reality is more like a co-manager. Jess is the reason Weavers Way is at Saul High School. Before Henry Got Crops existed, Jess and her Agroecology students at Saul worked with Weavers Way in one of their existing hoop houses on campus, growing vegetables. When she found out we were considered different locations around the North West to start a second farm, she emphatically said, “oh, well of course it will be here.” That was the end of that conversation and ever since she has been an integral part of every aspect of the farm. She set the example for class involvement which has inspired many other teachers to become involved with the education programs that Clare runs at Henry Got Crops. Jess works incredibly hard, alongside her students who are a crucial part of operations on the farm. She also facilitates all conversations and negotiations with the school to maintain a positive, reciprocating relationship with the staff and students at Saul. Thank you Jess, it has been a pleasure working with you for three years and I look forward to the seasons yet to come.

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