Among area residents, there is a desire to continue the efforts of Mike and Cindy Elwick. The Vinton couple had started something that is becoming more common in cities around the country, a location to grow organic produce.
In the heart of rural America, you might not see this as a need. However, many do not garden like they used to 40 or 50 years ago.
There is an area group wanting to continue this vision and have mapped out an outline of ways to accomplish it.
The Vision and Commitment:
The group first imagined success and described what a successful 2019 season would look like. The response of the group included: More people fed, a county wide support base, Sustainable funding sources, more organizations involved including farm to school, setting a state-wide example, nutrition and gardening education, new leadership, distribution to at-risk individuals, maintaining an attractive garden, research, saving the heritage of the farm, and keeping the county supervisors happy.
The group then asked themselves what their strengths and weaknesses were as a group to make this vision of success a reality. They also considered some of the benefits of success along with the associated risks.
Interest, Hard work, Knowledge In gardening, History of the organization, Business Facilities already in place, Nutrition education program, Experience, Organization, Communication, Local base of NCCC AmeriCorps volunteers.
People are fed, Education, Local, Nutrition, Cooking, Community Pride, Community Buy-in
Marketing / Communication Support
Waste of food, Change in plans, Weather, Burnout
The group then defined what they were committed to achieving. The group committed to the following:
Keep this property growing food
Applying for grants
Education on the farm
Keeping the CSA going
Explore becoming a non-profit
ISU Extension initially serving as fiscal agent
Next the group brainstormed all of the actions that would have to be taken to make these commitments a reality.
After listing the actions, they were grouped into four categories based. From these categories we created four committees who would be responsible for making these actions happen they are: Management, Labor Management, Marketing & Outreach, Education.
Each group also chose a team lead who will organize that groups meetings and interface with the leaders of the other groups. Those four leads will serve as an informal board of directors in the interim.
Board of Directors
Greg Walston – Management Team
Eileen Loan– Labor Team
Erin Monahan – Marketing & Outreach Team
Dan Roesler– Education Team
The team members for each team area
Management Team: Greg Walston, Rick Primmer, Phil Borleske, John Kemp, Bev Wittmer, Kris Birker
Labor Team: Eileen Loan, Mike/Cindy Elwick, Anna Yeagle, Jeff Sindelar, Mark Droessler, Maureen Haisman , Rob Levis
Marketing & Outreach Team: Erin Monaghan, Emily Hanson, Barb Ender-Wright, Jim Harken
Education Team: Dan Roesler, Carolyn Frazier, Dana Sanders
Each team also organized the actions that they will take by month and as a group we set follow up “all team” meetings that will take place. That calendar is below.
All teams committed to meeting at least once in the next couple of weeks, and the team leads will have a meeting by October 15 to update one another on their progress.
This is a community effort. If you would like to join in, feel free to contact Greg firstname.lastname@example.org