NEFOC Network Monthly Co-Coordinator Update: May 2019
Greetings Dear NEFOC Farmily!
It’s been a long month and we’re just now able to post our Monthly Update, but for many great reasons! May was spent working on organizational development, public outreach, resource development, and planning the NEFOC Network Gathering (see below for more information and a form to gather your much-desired input!) We’re receiving guidance from our allied and sibling organizations, leaning into the discomfort that comes with forging new pathways to liberation, pounding the pavement, illuminating NEFOC’s Vision, and forging our Mission.
As we briefly shared in May, we began the month traveling to the traditional territories of the Mohican, Mohawk, and Abenaki- Saratoga Springs. We spent 2 days at the Land Trust Alliance Annual Conference to deliver a keynote on NEFOC’s work. We shared the stage with our beloved Leah Penniman, Co-Director or Soul Fire Farm Institute, Inc., our fiscal sponsor, incubator, and #1 supporter to address the heads of over 200 NY State Land Trusts to drop some Truth about the work we share in liberation and sovereignty through access to land and food.
Following the conference, Çaca and I met up at the Farm School where we worked together during a rare in-person Co-Coordinator retreat (thanks to our wonderful Interim Council member Carmen Mouzon!) We identified that building a robust and meaningful Indigenous consultation policy is essential to this work, something we haven’t seen many (if any) land trusts prioritize. If you are connected to an Indigenous community in the Northeast, please reach out to connect us as we’re hitting the Powwow trail this summer to bring tobacco, our extended hand, and open hearts to the communities who have originally stewarded these lands since time immemorial!
Interim Council Progress Update
The Interim Council has been working on choosing a state to incorporate in, and drafting By-laws, articles of incorporation, and is beginning to finalize these as we move to vote these structures into place. We will be sending out more information on the upcoming Board Election process soon- so keep your eyes peeled if you’d like to be involved.
Resource Development Update
We’ve created a draft one pager that is just in the midst of final edits, and have spoken to and sourced out several funders who are in our corner. As we build towards signing a retainer with an attorney (fingers crossed- this month or early July!) we will share out ways you can help NEFOC reach its goals, which in turn, will help us all move into abundance!
NEFOC Network Gathering: YOUR VOICE, INPUT & VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
It’s about time to get together, share in our harvests, meet, greet, build relationships, and share essential skills for the success of our network! We’ve identified the Farm School (Athol, MA) as the host location of our next NEFOC Network Gathering and the August as the best month to gather. The dates available are listed on the form linked in this update. There is space for over 45 folks to stay on site (dorm style shared rooms and washrooms/showers) and places for tents. This is a FREE event. We’d like to offer time for skill sharing- I (Stephanie) can offer a brief presentation on creating digital stories to highlight your farm’s work. Maybe folks have other ideas for skill sharing?
“How do I participate in the NEFOC Network Gathering?”
Glad you asked! Click here to complete the form, or, complete the form below- choose the dates that work best for you, let us know if you’d like to volunteer, if you’d like to stay, and if you’d like to offer a skill share presentation (time allowing). We need folks to help us set up, break down and clean up, photograph and video record, cook, coordinate, and all sorts of things! This gathering is about YOU- the Network. Let’s make this a celebration of the seeds we’ve been planting and tending together!
Reparations Map Successes!
We’d like to give a very special shout out to Seed, Root, + Bloom (Boston, MA) and BLISS Meadows Farmhouse Project (Maryland) for the reparations they’ve received recently! We’ll be highlighting their individual projects in separate pieces on the website and Facebook page, but for now- these amazing projects have been trending and the funds raised have secured farmland, housing, essential infrastructure, and created BIPOC scholarships! It’s totally possible. If you’re not on the reparations map and would like to be, click here to complete the application! If you have any questions, get in touch with us <3
Allied and Sibling Organization Connections
When we weren’t traveling, writing grants, or working on governance needs with our Interim Council, we were attending virtual meetings, and talking on the phone with:
United Plant Savers
The Land Trust Alliance
The Biodynamic Association
Lead With Land
Cooperative Development Institute
Agrarian Commons Creation Committee
Young Farmers Network
National Young Farmers Coalition
Hudson Valley Farmlink
The Groundswell Center
Harvard Law Transactional Clinic
We’ve been on the move, making progress, making waves, wayfinding, and resource generating! There’s much more to report, and June isn’t over, so we’ll leave the June goodness for our next update. In the meantime, if you’d like us to come visit your farm while we’re powwowing around the Northeast, reach out!
With soil under our nails and hope in our hearts,
Your Humble Co-Coordinators,
Stephanie Morningstar & Çaca Yvaire