Most program participants encounter, especially when they return in another season or year, the constant pulsing of change woven into land-based life. There's nothing stagnant about it, except perhaps the humans in our thinking or understandings sometimes. This year has been a great time of change for GeerCrest - and looking ahead, will continue to be.
As many of you are aware, our principle focus for the last decade or so has been in providing farm-life programs for all ages while maintaining the farm and preserving food for programs. This year we recognize that our beloved 1851 farmhouse will require a new roof as soon as possible as well as extensive renovation within the next couple years. The same goes for the “stonehouse” — the stone fruit cellar. These will be significant endeavors. In making the first steps, there will be a couple significant affects on programs this coming year: overnight summer campers will be bunking in one of the forest cabins; lovely, yes, however, it will mean that our camps will be single gendered in 2019. Camp dates are now on our website and we are accepting deposits. We hope to have another cabin finished in 2020 to allow for coed camps, until the farmhouse is fully ready to host again. We are also working toward building a licensed kitchen in the existing dairy kitchen/office, to take pressure off of the farmhouse kitchen during the period of renovation (as well as increasing our capacity to serve amazing meals).
As I mentioned, these are big endeavors and we will be asking for your support in fundraising, event planning, and recruiting new board members to make it all happen!
Another impact is that, with our focus needing to be on getting ready for building and renovation projects, while fundraising and grant writing, we have chosen to give the beloved goats a year off and not breed them this fall, as midwifing is not something we take lightly. So, sadly, there will not be baby goats this spring for the first time in years. The core flock of at least 8 goats will still be here, hard at work in the blackberries and pasture. The beloved horses, Alf and Special, and goat buck Bruno have also found a new home, not too far away, reuniting with Special’s daughter, Nadia. The horses are finally being exercised and trained which has been beyond our capacity here at GeerCrest. Next year we may begin the search for a couple small cows (Dexters, we hope) to take the horses place as large footed grazers.
For now, the rest of our programs should continue as normal. We are excited to welcome you back for Farm Fresh dinners in 2019, which will have more of a community and educational focus this year, and lower price. We are still hammering out the last details with presenters/facilitators/musicians, but most dates are set on our events page. We will also keep you posted in future newsletters and via Facebook.
Hope you have a restful and reflective winter, a nourishing new year. Look forward to seeing you again soon on the farm! Please, as always, reach out if you have questions, feedback, or if you’d like to explore becoming more involved.