Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December update

Greetings farmers and friends,

We will not be having a meeting tonight after consulting with Chair and Vice Chair Brawn and Pearson.  Yes, things are moving along, but nothing pressing.  December is a busy month!

Next Monday, the Charleston Correctional Crew will be working on the 2nd floor and hopefully we will be able to get the furniture upstairs after the subfloor is down.
I only have 2 more things to get to Jason and he will be finalizing the RFP's to finish  the inside.  I will have done this week!!!

I am working with a group from Maine Rural Partners and will serve on the Winter Marketing Leadership Group representing the farmers and our store in this area. 
They wrote and received a grant that is going to:
The project goals are to:
1. Strengthen the connections and experience among growers, local and healthy food
advocates, institutions, crop advisers, business planners and lenders to grow year round
local food systems.
2. Couple smart energy season extension practices with market development, business
planning, financing and crop insurance strategies to manage risk.
3. Provide quality outreach and education using cutting‐edge season extension risk
management tools to Maine’s limited resource, underserved and socially disadvantaged
specialty crop producers.
4. Bring institutional food buyers and underserved growers together to understand one
another’s needs and create a plan for contracted purchasing.
5. Understand, document and share what works.

As a result we will:
1. Create a Guide to Winter Farmers’ Markets.
2. Develop the foundation for local sourcing of food at RSU#10 and St. Mary’s Hospital in
Lewiston, with a focus on building markets for Somali New American farmers.
3. Broadcast the program service opportunity across all outreach channels to reach all
4,000 specialty crop producers, and at least 255 will be served through workshops.
4. Meet with at least 15 underserved farmers to help these growers assess winter market
risks and decide whether or not to move forward with a business plan.
5. Create 10 viable season extension business plans that include energy management
provisions and a winter marketing strategy.
6. Position at least 6 underserved growers to enter the 2012–13 winter market who agree
to share results and lessons learned.

We will have a more detailed flyer to send out by the end of the week or so but in the meantime call me if you have questions or check out the online survey and fill out if you would like!!!
The survey  is on survey monkey http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/winterfarmingapp

On a side note: My friend & long time DRDC Board member Darlene Bagley,  husband is in the hospital and will be having "both" feet removed probably this week due to complications from diabetes.  Greg had a kidney transplant a few years back and they are holding off on the life saving surgery until the kidney is free of infection.  I am going to Bangor with Darlene today to meet with doctors, so I will not be available today for calls.  Please keep Darlene and Greg in your thoughts and prayers and they brave thru this process.  Thanks so much...

I will be back in the office tomorrow.
Judy Wilbur Craig
Dexter Community Farm Project Coordinator

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