About 45 members attended the annual meeting of the ICF Cooperative on Sunday, September 16. We had the meeting earlier this year, at a different location, and at a different time with the hope of having a large than usual attendance. We were hoping that being outdoors on a perfect fall evening and grilling vegetables would be a good draw! (If you did not attend, please let us know if the time and location were barriers. And if you did attend, should we do this time of year and location again?)
This year was our 25th annual meeting and pot luck. We had the luxury of a wood fire/grill at the Intervale Center, so board members chopped and sliced and prepared all kinds of grilled vegetables to accompany the creations from attendees. Grilled corn, fennel, onions, sweet peppers, and zucchini were just the right touch for the transition to fall.
Farmer Andy Jones reviewed the summer season for us, complete with pictures and graphs. From the major flooding and icing in January (75% of the fields were covered) to the heat of the summer (which the corn, melons, peppers, and eggplant loved), we’ve had a successful season. For some unknown reason the birds left the corn alone and we harvested 28,000 ears of corn!
Andy explained how our new custom flame weeder works (pulling weeds often makes the seeds spread; flaming doesn’t disturb the soil and is done 2-3 weeks ahead of planting and then again right before germination.) We are also using sileage tarps this year, covering weeds to suffocate for 2-3 weeks. We’ve used them on the salad greens this year, but they are heavy and cumbersome to use.
We heard an update on the new packhouse project, our gleaning and food donation program, research projects we’ve partnered on in our fields, and our upcoming pumpkin ride/picking day.
Board member Abby McGowan explained the rotation schedule for our board (every year 3 positions will be open; the total number of members is 9) and that we are moving to an electronic ballot this year so that more co-op members will have an opportunity to vote in elections. In the past, paper ballots were distributed at the annual meeting and only those in attendance voted.
You can see Andy’s slideshow here even though it doesn’t have audio. Send us your questions on any slide if you want to know more! (Click on “play” and sit back to watch!)