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Fundraising Update: Money raised for matching challenge

As you might know, we are fundraising to buy our farm. Many of have been quite generous, and also quite prompt, and have successfully donated over the $4000 needed to meet the matching amount offered for money donated before 2013. Thanks A lot! We're still looking to raise more money, but what we have gotten will be quite helpful.

buying the farm! 2012 Matching challenge - last week!

Dear friends,
(sorry no cool pictures, the camera is broken)
In this email/blog:

- Potluck schedule for the rest of the winter (including Jan 4)
- Buying the farm info
- plea for help with funding our land purchase.
- a short Christmas wishlist of things you might be getting rid of anyway

winter potlucks

Potluck Update:

(actually written by nicholas, though posted by alice)

Sorry about the double email, I've (Nicholas) been bad at communicating with my farm team members, as it is Christmas time. Anyway, Happy third day of solstice (if you live in the northern hemisphere, that means the days are now very slowly getting longer, and soon we'll plant some onions (but not as many as last year). So here are the next three potlucks (they may change slightly, as I can't quite remember one of the titles):

Latest Mustard Seed Community Farm Newsletter from Alice

there's been so much going on since the last newsletter!
2 things in this newsletter:
We are (almost certainly) buying the farm!
potluck this friday 12-7-12

We have been renting 3 acres this year, up from our 1 acre our first year, and now we are trying to buy 11 acres.
to avoid confusion, this is 11 acres right where we are, which includes everything you thought of as mustard seed farm and 8 acres more. We are very excited about this, and very grateful! There's a lot to say about this, and we'll try to send you a more informative, more interesting email very soon. also, if you would like to read an illustrated version of all this info, we can send you this fall's issue of the paper (through the postal service) or a more boring business plan. Our landlords have agreed to sell the land, we are looking for help with financing.
If you are interested in helping - we are looking for interest free loans, donations, or early sign ups for a 2014 CSA share - please give me a call if you have any interest in these things. 515-460-1467. i'd also be happy to answer any questions.

more info coming soon.

Next Potluck: Social Justice and Education
The next potluck will be Friday, December 7th, with a 6 PM dinner and a 7 to 8 PM discussion.
The location will be 704 Duff Ave, Ames, IA, 50010.
As always, the public is open to the public, so feel free to invite anyone.
This Friday's potluck will be guided by Chris Fowler, of the Margaret Sloss Women's house, and we'll talk about the impact education has on reinforcing or perpetuating inequality, and other issues surrounding social justice and education.

peace, and gratitude
Alice

Early November newsletter, event this Monday

Farm update
So not much has changed since the information in the last newsletter. We've taken down our fence, and there's been lots of animal activity: turkeys, a cat, and deer. The activity from the deer has convinced us to protect a few more of our trees, as they're getting eaten pretty badly. We're also cleaning up everything for the final year, and starting plans for next year. Next year will be largely non-food crops, focusing on ecological health, soil quality, buffers, and forages. We're starting to do research on what those plants should be. One other thing different this fall, compared to other falls, is that we've left a lot of our dead crops standing that we would normally take down: beans, tomatoes, okra. We've done this rather than removing them and planting cover crop because they will hopefully serve as a snow fence to catch moisture for the soil. Also, because of dry conditions, the cover crop germination hasn't been great, so the dead plants will provide some kind of soil cover.

Hunger and Homelessness Event with farm team members: monday from 6-8:30
Next Monday, as part of the national hunger and homelessness week, there will be a public forum organized by the story county housing board where various people involved in mitigating hunger and homelessness in Story County will talk about their work and ideas. The last few years, cookies have been provided. From our farm, Alice will be talking about our farm, what we do, and what other farms in the area do to try to get healthy food to hungry people. You should come if you want, it's Commons Hall, Bethesda Lutheran Church, 1517 Northwestern Ave. The event is being organized by the Story County Housing Board and sponsored by the City of Ames Housing Division. Here's more info:
http://www.cityofames.org/index.aspx?recordid=943&page=43

Another chart from this Friday's potluck

This shows our green bean harvests, in pounds per week, over the last year.

Potluck Reminder

This Friday, November 2nd, we'll talk about the about our farm's past and future: how we did in terms of harvest and distribution this year, how that compared to previous years, and what else has happened this past year,. featuring fun graphs such as those below. We'll also talk about our farm's future: our plans to take a year off from our CSA, and other things we might do, like building an outdoor kitchen, potentially buying our land, building a bread oven, and how we might have the people and resources to do these things. In December, we'll be going in a different direction with a discussion on social justice, inequality, and education, led by Chris Fowler. The goal with these potlucks is to inform the attendees, but also realize that everyone that comes has information that can be valuable for others, and foster a productive discussion about subjects in agriculture, social justice, spirituality, and the environment, or some combination thereof. Before that discussion, we'll have a potluck dinner to share food with eachother, from 6 to 7 Information about the next two potlucks is below:

Mustard Seed Community Farm: progress report and future plans: November 2, dinner at 6, discussion at 7
Location: 704 Duff Ave, Ames, IA 50010

Social Justice and Inequality in Education: December 7, dinner at 6, discussion at 7
Location: 704 Duff Ave, Ames, IA 50010

Farm Update:


In the past month, we've planted and mulched our garlic, covered our strawberries for the winter, planted the last of our winter cover crops (some rye planted at right), harvested the last of our carrots, and delivered most all of our storage vegetables (cabbage, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, potatoes), and protected all of the trees that we want to protect. Soon we'll take down our fence and the deer can start eating all of our kale. We still have a few vegetables: kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, radishes, though a hard freeze will likely come in the next month that will take all of these out. Meanwhile, our rye, vetch, and tillage radish cover crops are slowly growing, helped along by the somewhat more prevalent precipitation, despite the fact that hydrologically, we're in a drought.

Last CSA delivery

We've checked our carrots, and they seem a sufficient size, and it's also getting a little cold for our harvesters, so for people getting a box (I know it's only 10% of this list, sorry) OUR LAST DELIVERIES WILL BE NEXT WEEK, OCTOBER 9TH AND 12TH, and then our CSA will be over. For our workers, make sure to come, we will be protecting trees and planting garlic, two important tasks for next year.

Winter Potluck Schedule

This year, one of our big challenges was the drought. So, to start out our Ames winter potluck schedule- the first friday of every month, we'll be talking about drought, water use, and resiliency to stresses such as drought. Following that, we'll be talking in November about how our farm did the last year, and what our future plans are. In December, we'll be going in a different direction with a discussion on social justice, inequality, and education, led by Chris Fowler. The goal with these potlucks is to inform the attendees, but also realize that everyone that comes has information that can be valuable for others, and foster a productive discussion about subjects in agriculture, social justice, spirituality, and the environment, or some combination thereof. Before that discussion, we'll have a potluck dinner to share food with eachother, from 6 to 7 Information about the first few potlucks is below:

Drought, Water, and Resiliency: October 5, dinner at 6, discussion at 7
Location: 704 Duff Ave, Ames, IA 50010

Mustard Seed Community Farm Season Review: November 2, dinner at 6, discussion at 7
Location: 704 Duff Ave, Ames, IA 50010

Social Justice and Inequality in Education: December 7, dinner at 6, discussion at 7
Location: to be determined, but likely at 704 Duff Ave, Ames, IA 50010

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