March: State of the farm

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We can hardly believe March is here, and the pressure is really on to get the season going. In the past month we completed several projects including the installation of flooring and some furniture in our new buildings. We completed the second greenhouse and it is filling up extremely fast. With the help of Nvidia corporation, we began planting our orchard last week and thus far have planted about 100 fruit tree, mostly citrus and stone fruit. In a few days, our new water line will be hooked up to the meter and there will be water flowing for our back field and we'll be ready to begin working our new field. This month we also started a whole new crop of 25 workday leaders as part of the 2013 Workday Leader Class. When you come to volunteer, you will see many new faces helping to facilitate work around the farm, so say hello and thank these folks for the work they are committing to Veggielution. 

One of the most exciting developments over the past month involves a new tractor. Last month, our Board of Directors approved the decision to begin the process of purchasing a new piece of equipment for the farm. While we will always rely heavily on volunteer hand labor and demonstrate hand-labor practices on a large part of the farm, this expansion to 6 acres makes it impossible to farm without our own tractor. This has been an issue wearing on us heavily as we entered into this new stage of development. We have spent years exploring the possibility of borrowing or purchasing a used tractor, but our farm advisors highly recommended us purchasing a new or lightly used tractor from a dealership, under warranty, that would not cause this young farmer any headaches for the next several years. This put our estimate of the cost for what we need at $30,000 - an extremely intimidating figure for us at this point in time. 

Fortunately, after talking about this need with some of our close contacts, an anonymous donor has put forward a $15,000 matching donation in order to make this possible. After much research, we entered into an agreement with Mission Valley Tractors to acquire a new Kubota M5640 tractor, with a front loader and tiller included, for just under $30k. Our agreement makes it possible to put some money down and have the tractor here when we need it as we raise the remainder of funds. So we will begin a new fundraising campaign to support this tractor purchase in the coming months. We're hoping that some other generous individuals from our community will follow the lead of our anonymous donor and help to add this tractor to our repertoire of tools at the farm. 

 Mark Medeiros
 Farm Director