I am writing out the final checks to our community loan promissory note holders who took a chance to support a shared vision for the future of Three Sisters Community Farm in 2018. Five years later we met our goal. We have the infrastructure in place and the supporting social structures to grow and distribute food from March to December.
We raised $28,000 from our members in 2018. We were optimistic that this amount would do the trick. Those funds however, ran out in 2019 and we hadn’t yet come close to getting our infrastructure where it needed to be. A rough estimate is that since 2020 we have invested an additional $195,000 in the business infrastructure and support structures to get us to a stable place with everything we need to do our work. The funds were pieced together with loans, grants, donations, business revenue and private investor funds.
So we finally achieved our goal. This was the first year that we were able to focus most of our energy on growing food. There were no major infrastructure projects hanging over our heads. It feels odd. Have you ever worked so hard to reach a goal and then, when you arrive, it’s like “Now what?” How do you stay inspired to keep up with the never ending demands of what you have created?
January and February are important months for us to gather strength and imagine the future. What are questions that remain for us? It is the nature of things that they change constantly and one has to tune into the changes in order to keep pace with what is working towards us from the future. Questions we hold that may shape some of our work in the future are:
What is the role of culture and cultural activities on the farm?
Who will continue to want to do this work, and how will they be fairly compensated?
How can we work collaboratively with others?
What will we do with 500 maturing fruit trees?
How will we continue to increase soil health and biodiversity?
What will happen to the land we currently manage beyond our tenure?
How will we keep pace with the physical and financial demands of maintaining our land base and buildings?
Thanks for being a part of this,