New Farmers of the Central Coast (CA)
Well we had a momentous second meeting, with many plans hatched and targets set. We shared an incredible meal, as well as our ideas and hopes for our budding organization. Thanks to everyone who showed up, and to those of you who couldn’t make it, fear not! Below you will find all the info you need to get up to speed on our goings-on and happenings. We also have a new blog/ website here: http://newfarmerscc.wordpress.com/
This Sunday, July 8th at 10:00 am at 6005 Los Osos Valley Road. Goat round-up to include: moving and handling of goats, hoof trimming, ear-tagging, vaccinating, wethering the young males plus a general herd health check up. Plus, if anyone is interested in learning about other stuff like electric fencing or pasture management, we can have some additional discussions/workshops. I will be providing delicious food and drinks/beer for all. For additional info or directions, feel free to call Ian at 805-801-1215.
Thanks so much,
Notes from our Second Meeting, July 1st at Heather and Eric Popp’s Farm in Creston:
Vanessa- small 2 acre farm selling @ Paso mkt (Heart of Paso Produce) work share or market share possibilities
Gene – Stone fruit trade for other foods/ interest in looking to dept of ag to keep land with people, less interference, monopolizing
Allison- DIY, old time education, outside the box collective problem solving
Montgomery- policy and reference docs already made, just need to localize
Crystal and Whitney- Farmers Market in Shandon, interested in farm to school, etc.
Jessie- Gardens with goats, chickens, new to making cheese and soap, small CSA interest one day
Ruth and Ian – SLO farm, goat and sheep herd care, education share
Heather and Eric: Have 2 acre farm in Creston, small CSA
Melissa: Works at Windrose Farm, organizing background
Kacie: Grew up on Central Coast, lives with Heather & Eric
Chris: Just moved in with Heather and Eric from Santa Cruz, working on their farm
* Obviously not everyone is on this list. I’d like to put up a page on our website with short descriptions of our active members and their farms, as well as what they’re interested in doing with NFCC. If you would like to be on that page, please reply to this email with said info.
As a group, how can we help fill each other’s need gaps and what assets can we utilize to help each other collectively?
-Take example groups such as Washington NYFC
-Social events, peer to peer learning, speakers, workshops, farm tours, work parties/crop mob, equipment share, attend local policy meetings, farm mentors
-Fill in knowledge gaps- crop mob and education
-Integrity @ farmers markets “producer only”
-Press, announcing ourselves – chambers of commerce? Be sure to have mission statement clear about what we want to accomplish as a group
-Supporting Young Farmers Market
– CCAN- Identifying all county parcels available for new farmers, SLO city farm – education
-New approaches to problem solving, workshop (ASAP!)
-Educating the public
-Diversification of crops to help each other!, Cooperative farmstand, Marketing – Golden Hills Location
-SLO county Local Food Council
-“brand recognition” (Mission statement and possible biz model first)
Short Term Goals…
Subcommittees and their current single point of contact for group
Goal: To research all local, state and federal resources for young/ new farmers in the central coast, as well as local, state, and federal organizations that we should form partnerships with or have a seat at their table.
Montgomery: Pass along prev. state and Federal research
Crystal: State Agricultural Commission
Kacie: Upcoming events we should participate in
Vanessa: Farm Bureau
Ruth: Other Young Farmers Organizations
Eric: The Farm Bill
Melissa: Other SLO County Resources
-Questions and answers about challenges, problems, laws, taxes, writeoffs, etc. Online database? (need someone with tech skills who’s interested!)
Next Research Sub-committee meeting: Sunday July 15th at Vanessa’s house (details soon)
Goal: To research and brainstorm cooperative agricultural business models.
*This topic came up again and again during our conversations: how can we work together in a way that will make our farming enterprises more viable and economically sustainable? Pretty much everyone in attendance was excited about exploring this possibility and many great ideas were put on the table, including a storefront co-op market in Paso Robles, and crop planning spread out over many farms so that each farmer only has to grow a few things specific to their microclimate.
Point Person: Heather
Others taking active roles:
- Mobile markets, food bank, gleaning group, co-op in north county
Next Co-op Subcommittee meeting: At Heather and Eric’s, Sunday July 22nd (details soon)
Goal: Make $$
Point Person: Kasey
Others taking active roles:
Next Fundraising Subcommittee Meeting: At Heather and Eric’s, Sunday July 22nd, dual meeting with Co-op Subcommittee
Next NFCC meeting (everyone!)- August 5th, 3pm at Vanessa’s (details soon)
Homework: Each member brings individual mission statement to review and make collective statement.
Discuss progress of subcommittees, share overview of information gathered
Discuss decision making process (motions, concensus, etc)
Keep checking out other coalitions, greenhorns group, young farmers, and other examples we can all learn from!
Eat amazing food!
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