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Minutes of the 9/14/10 meeting of FOBK Board

On October 28, 2010, in Minutes, by dgroberg
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Minutes of the Sept 14, 2010 meeting of Friends of Boulder Knoll board.

In attendance: Kim Stoner, Brenda Caldwell, Greg Melville, Ron Gagliardi, James McGrath, Marion Sparago, Domingo Medina, Fellis Jordan, Lauren Tagliatela, Debbie Kohan, Kathryn Frund and Dan Groberg (on conference call)

Treasurer’s Report

Carol began the meeting with a review of the treasurer’s report. The tag sale on the green raised $3,448.87 which included the sponsorship donations. FOBK received a $500 donation from the Tagliatela Foundation. There is $5,073.87 in an account in New England Bank which will be used to pay Brenda and Wayne, and  $6,703 in the Foundation. We need to pay $1,500 for the purchase of fruit. The season will end with a $7,000 surplus.

An evaluation of the tag sale followed and suggestions where made for 2011. The sale on the green generated an impressive amount of money, as well as raising public awareness for the farm. Meredith Berger did an absolutely amazing job organizing all facets of the event. Clothing, linens and kitchen items which remained at the end of the sale were donated to Acts 4 Women’s Shelter. Charlie Monti, the director of COCO, has expressed an interest in participating next year. Kim Wantroba from Cheshire Community Chorus, was concerned over the confusion surrounding the appropriate place to purchase merchandise. Some sales from their tables went to Boulder Knoll. Better signage needs to be considered for 2011, as well as possibly putting stickers on all items to identify each organization. Due to the success of this year’s event, we will plan to hold a community tag sale next year in April or May.

Water for the Farm

Bob is waiting for the results of the second water test, which should be released within the next few weeks. If the water is good, the town will hook up the well to the farm. There is a single pipe running under the road which connects the wellhead at Kerry’s house to the farm.

Demolition of the Barn

Cheshire Land Trust will be receiving a few beams from the dairy barn which was demolished today. Ann Giddings called Michael Malone inquiring about the demolition.  The town’s plan to knock the barn down first and then go through the debris and retrieve beams, resulting in a minimal amount of recovered wood. Deconstruction of the barn may have resulted in more reclaimed material.

Environmental Education Position

Fellis is looking for a job description and list of qualifications for the environmental education position, as well as possible funding sources. She has contacted Natick Farm to ask for help with this search. Kim suggested that the Community Farming Conference held on Oct 30th, was a possible source for information, as well as contacting Brianne Cassadei of Terra Firma Farm, who generously offered to give us her business plan.

Funding Opportunities

Marion Sparago from Cheshire Nursery School presented to the board a generous donation opportunity.  The nursery school, established in 1952, closed 4 years ago. Their bylaws stipulated the school’s proceeds must go to a nonprofit charitable organization. Several organizations have already been awarded money, including Darcy School and the Cheshire Correctional Center. The remaining $20-$25K funds are available for educational programs. Brenda submitted the farm’s wish list to the board for discussion. The need for an environmental educator best fit the requirements for the funds. The farm’s environmental educator will be an income producing position.  Fellis, Ron, James, Brenda and Marion will meet as a subcommittee to discuss the proposal. Fellis gave Marion a copy of FOBK’s original proposal which specified the type of educational programs the farm wished to offer the community.

Domingo Medina discussed other funding opportunities from private organizations. There are small $5K-$10K grants available which would require matching funds. We would need to research grants and fit our needs to the granting agencies. Kim discussed the $50K Farm Viability Grant which Massaro Farm applied for through a municipal grant. We would need permission by the town of Cheshire to apply for these funds, which require matching – which can be in-kind services. Kim also discussed grants from the Natural Resources Conservation Service to possibly pay for deer fencing, additional buildings or equipment. We need to discuss with our accountant the necessity of filing a Schedule F on our farm income, which would establish us as a farm within 1 or 2 years. This would then enable us to be eligible for government funds. Domingo, Brenda, Fellis, Lauren and Sarah will form a small group to research grants. A wind or solar powered water pump is one possible project we could seek to fund.

Bob discussed an income opportunity by selling scrap metal to Albert Brothers in Waterbury and donating the funds to FOBK. Dan will post the information on our website and have interested members contact Bob for details.

Event Idea for 2011

Brenda proposed “A Family Fun Day” for CSA members, friends and the general public. Activities include planting garlic, workshops on preparing the ground for next year’s garden and an educational demo on preserving food. Hay rides, pumpkin painting and delicious food from the Cheese Truck would be part of the 3 hour festivities.  It’s free to FOBK families or $10 for non members.  A donation jar and the sale of pumpkins could offset some of the expenses of running the event. We decided to put this into the plan for next year.

Thank You Letter

Greg formatted a thank you letter for FOBK. Based on comments, he will make changes and email a revision to Kim.

Additional Business

Fellis will look into the VoAG program at Lyman Hall, as well as a grant for a Yale student to intern at the farm. Dan will link our website to Jordan Caterers. On the farm, Fred will be mowing the fields.

Gleaning and an Extra Share Out

An extra share out will be offered to 25 people. The price is tentative set at $10 for members and $15 for those on the waiting list. Gleaning for CSA members (pick what you need) is available after this final harvest. Brenda is still harvesting vegetables for the restaurant and the soup kitchen. The portable toilet will be removed at the end of the month.

October Annual Meeting and Agenda

The board and invited guests of FOBK will hold its annual meeting on October 28. We will gather at Fellis Jordan’s home for a pot-luck supper at 6:30 pm followed by the meeting at 7pm. The agenda will include:

  1. the year’s accomplishments
  2. the installation of a new board
  3. a report on the CSA from Farmer Brenda
  4. a look to the future of FOBK and the CSA
  5. treasurer’s report

Kim and Greg will be stepping off the board, and Dan and Meredith will be joining. During this transitional time, there are some CSA members who have expressed interest in becoming involved in FOBK, they include: Lauren Tagliatela, Leslie Mangelo, Tom Scannell, Debbie Kohan and Domingo Medina.

 

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