Blogs & Newsletters
Our ninth farm newsletter (July 2021)
Our eighth farm newsletter (July 2020)
Our seventh farm newsletter (January 2020)
Our third farm newsletter (January 2018)
Our second farm newsletter (September 2017)
Billy spent about nine weeks at The Rodale Institute in their veteran farmer training program. He learned a lot, came home with a wounded-and-now-healed chicken named Miss Ellie and a hive of bees, and jumped right back in to working on our guest house. Here is a blurb about him during his internship: https://rodaleinstitute.org/veterans-to-farmers/. We're thankful for the opportunity he had to learn from a large farm with years of organic experience, and for visitors who kept April company and helped us make progress on the renovations while he was gone.
Big news! First, we received our IRS determination letter today! We have one more major piece of paperwork--filing for tax exemption with the State of Arkansas--and then it will just be on-going record keeping and reporting going forward. This may be less exciting than alpacas and guests, but it’s important.
Second, as you may know from our newsletters, we had to gut the guest house due to water damage, termites, and critters, as it had sat abandoned for several years. Fixing it up was on hold while we got our own residence cleaned and repaired--one renovation project at a time was enough. Now that our house is pretty well ready, we are ready to tackle the guest house.
First up on the construction list: getting a plumber and a contractor to help us install a second bathroom, and getting heat and air installed. (With these two things we can more easily host visitors who want to help us finish the house and other projects as we prepare for long-term guests.) A local plumber was recommended to us by two people we trust, so we called him. He came out today and we talked through our ideas for making the bathroom accessible. We also asked him if there were general contractors he recommended: he said yes, but they are usually in high demand, so he didn't know if they would be available for some time.
Well, thanks to the stormy weather forecast for next week, a highly recommended contractor came over this afternoon! He was looking for a small job that he could do while he waits for the weather to clear up for his larger jobs. And best of all, he knows one of our board members and was recommended by him, too.
Third, April found out today that she has been accepted to VEToga teacher training in May. This training, for veterans, active-duty personnel, or military family members, is intended to help people with physical injuries or post traumatic stress—when trainers return home, they commit to offering a free yoga class to veterans and military families at least once a month. We will do that and also have it as part of the curriculum for our long-term guests. (If you would like to donate to VEToga toward April’s attendance, that would be great!)
Last but not least, one of our out-of-state board members was here for a visit. Jennifer Mathews helped us build a large raised garden bed out of untreated scrap lumber we found around the property. We are filling it with our second-hand moving boxes, old newspaper, fallen leaves and sticks, and kitchen scraps. We will let these materials compost in place over the next few months and they should be rich soil in time for spring planting—the last frost is around April 13, so that’s about when we will set out seeds and the plants we’ve started inside.
Thank you for your encouragement as we continue to move forward! We hope you are as encouraged by this momentum as we are.