The Farm News - May 11th, 2019

After all that rain, we were glad to see the sun poke out at the farm this week! Here’s a little bit of what’s been going on at Codman since last week:

More Veggies and Potatoes

We used the couple of sunny days this week to plant more veggies, including Napa cabbage, broccoli, and kohlrabi. Pete, Brian, Kari and I enjoyed soaking up the sun and vitamin D as Pete prepped the beds and we planted them out. On Wednesday, we worked on planting potatoes with the Farmer’s Helper class. They learned about how potatoes grow, what a potatoes “eyes” are, how to improvise a measuring stick with their bodies, and how to use a hoe to cover their potato beds!

Laying Hen Delivery

Our new flock of laying hens is arriving on Monday! Over 1000 birds will be arriving to the farm, replenishing our egg production as our current flock ages. These ladies will be 4 to 5 months old, and are called pullets, which are young female chickens who are just starting to produce eggs. We’ll need a few extra hands to help unload them from their truck and get them to their new home on Codman South, so if you want to join in, sign up here. We’ll meet at 4:30 p.m.. Wear clothes that can get dirty, and bring gloves if you have them! Since the weather is looking a bit raw and rainy, we’ll warm up afterwards with some hot cocoa in the farm office.

Annual Members Meeting

On Thursday night, we hosted our Annual Members Meeting to discuss the state of the farm and to vote on new members and officers for the Board of Directors. The Codman Board, Staff, and a group of our members gathered in the barn to share in food cooked by the board (shout out to Lis Herbert’s homemade white pizza featuring Codman Sausage!). After eating and catching up, we settled in to business. 2018 was a resoundingly successful year for Codman, and appreciations were shared for the hard work of our hundreds of volunteers, for the dedication and vision of our Board, and for the energy and creativity of our staff, as well as the massive financial support we have received from the community.

Among the info shared at the meeting, we discussed how in 2018, we generated close to $600,000 in revenue from farm products, and in the seven months since our Vision 2020 campaign, we have almost reached our goal of $350,000 for capital purchases and investments. There is clear demand for our local and humanely raised products, as well as support for our mission, and that’s reflected by the fact the farm is in a stronger fiscal position then it has ever been. That is a clear product of the energy and passion of our staff and community, and we are looking forward to continuing that trend into 2019.

Another notable piece of the meeting was that David Alperovitz came to the end of his tenure as President of the Codman Board of Directors. His leadership was celebrated, with Vice President Nancy Fleming highlighting his vision and accomplishments while serving as President. Among many achievements, David personally tackled two of our government grants which brought in $50,000 to fund the farm’s solar project, wading through literally hundreds of pages to apply and secure funding from the USDA and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Luckily for us, he will still be on the Board for another year, and will lend his voice, as well as his top notch maple sugaring skills.

The board elections went smoothly, electing four new members to the Codman Board! We welcome Jon Ferris, Sherry Haydock, Dr. Stephen Hoenig, and Bryce Wells to the Board, and are looking forward to sharing in their leadership and knowledge. We also elected as our officers: Nancy Fleming as President, Ginger Reiner as Treasurer, and Fan Watkinson as Clerk. Their dedication to Codman is impressive - Nancy played a crucial role in driving the Capital Campaign, as you may know - and we are looking forward to their leadership over the next couple of years.

Grazing in 2018: Chickens, in mobile coops on the left, follow behind cows, who are grazing the longer grass in the wagon-wheel spokes on the right. When the cows have grazed the grass down, they’re moved to a fresh section, and the chickens move in behind them.

Pete presented a remarkable state of the farm at the meeting. He continues to improve the farm through his knowledge and creativity, along with his Assistant Farm Manager, Jared Martin. In 2018, they innovated through experimenting with new rotational grazing practices, building new, specialized equipment, and conducting grant-funded research. One small example is the way they paired meat chickens and cows together to graze a field - the cows would graze the grass that was too long for the chickens, and then the chickens would follow behind the cows grazing over the shorter grass. Then, the grass would regrow as the animals were moved to new areas of pasture, rejuvenated by the nutrients from the manure of both species. Jared and Pete continue to work this year on the best ways to utilize the land, equipment, and personnel that we have at Codman, and to provide a source of local, humane proteins and other goods to Lincoln and the surrounding communities.

Next week, look forward to more updates and pictures of the new laying flock, info about our first meat chicken harvest (May 30th), and more. In the meantime, we have more rain ahead, but don’t let that stop you from coming out to visit the farm!

Until Next Time,