The region experiences record breaking wet fall. Compost turner and tractor to pull it are acquired in an effort to increase quantity and quality of compost made on farm. Leaves begin arriving at end of year for field application and compost making.
Fencing of big field at the Moore farm is finished allowing four new fields to be planned. Begin first trials of cover crop roll down in an effort to reduce tillage. Agree to participate in 3 year trial with Rodale Institute on roll down cover crop, expand school programs bringing more students to the farm, and purchase bale processor to aid in mulching with hay and preparation of compost piles. A partnership with Cooper Grist Mill enables the CSG to grind large quantities of grain grown in our fields into flour.
Chicken flock is increased to 100 and a mobile chicken coup is built to move birds over the fields. Barn renovation begins and new floors are installed on two levels at the Moore farm.
A flock of laying hens is introduced into the field rotation. Office space in the gardenhouse is expanded and a new seed room is built for better storage conditions. We buy a mower conditioner as hay collection continues to expand.
Chan Moore’s 72-acre farm and home adjacent to our fields is bequeathed to the CSG. A potato digger is purchased. At the Moore farm, a solar array is installed and a forest stewardship plan accepted. The apprenticeship program grows to 4 full-season people. Seed saving efforts and grain harvests expand. We adopt Marley to join Rover in guarding the fields.
A larger tractor is purchased to help with grain and bean crops. We have our first grain harvest at the Moore farm, and our first distribution of paw paw fruit. A hoop storage building is built at the Moore farm.
We plant 5 acres of winter grains and acquire fencing for 10+ acres on Chan Moore’s land. We purchase a used combine and a structure to protect machines from the elements.
The farm has another wet year. Two diversions are put in to lessen erosion and the first hedgerow is planted in the big field. Workshop is completed while workshare and volunteer help in the garden increase to new levels.
After one of the wettest years on record, fields are oriented to more closely follow the contour. Solar panels are mounted on the Garden house and work begins on a heated work4shop.
The core group reorganizes and members form committees. A new bi-weekly newsletter enhances gardener/shareholder communications. An old grain bin is converted for storing winter squash and sweet potatoes.
Members are introduced to other products from neighboring farms. A greenhouse is moved to a more convenient spot near the Gardenhouse.
One mile of deer fencing goes up around all fields on west side of Silver Lake Road. Increased time and energy in the orchard helps produce first harvest of apples. Health insurance is provided for longer term gardeners.
A new well is dug and an irrigation system put in place to provide water for the big fields on the west side of Silver Lake Road. Blueberries are established and fenced in near the playground.
The CSG’s lease with the Sisters of St. Dominic is expanded to include the 36 acre field on the west side of Silver Lake Road. This allows for healthier crop rotation and permanent improvements.
The first substantial peach harvest occurs and shareholders agree to include all fruits as part of the garden share. A refrigeration unit is installed in one of the root cellars to better maintain storage quality.
A precision seeder and small cultivating tractor are obtained. The CSG adopts “Rover”, the wonderdog, in an effort to keep deer from munching on the field crops. A pension plan is initiated for gardeners.
A skid steer loader is acquired to aid in the handling of manure and compost. Irrigation lines are laid in the orchard in the fall. Office construction begins on the upper floor of the Garden house.
A rock picker is purchased and an additional 1 1/4-acres are put under a cover crop for healthy rotation. A new berry patch is planted by the Garden house. A small grinding mill is purchased to make cornmeal.
A few paw paw trees are planted. 2 1/2-acres are fenced in across the road. Tillage starts for another 1 1/4-acres. Corn, winter squash, onions and garlic are planted and cultivated across the road.
The tools are moved into the new Garden house and the CSG purchases its own tractor. Two-hundred- twenty fruit trees are planted. In autumn, the frame of a new greenhouse goes up.
The community raises funds for the Garden house with rootcellars and begins construction. Further ground is broken and improved with cover crops for the planned orchard. In autumn, 1 1/4-acres across the road are worked for the first time.
A mechanical spader and a Yeoman plow are purchased, appropriate tools for careful tillage. Another 1/2-acre is added and the second deer fence is built.
Another acre is added to the growing area. Two acres are set up for drip irrigation. Garden staff increases by one and shareholder size increases by 30 shares. One garden area is fenced from deer.
The CGS is founded as a not-for-profit corporation ( not charitable). The growing area expands by 1 acre and a second greenhouse is constructed.
The first 1/2-acre garden is established. Ground is broken on an additional 1/2-acre. A small greenhouse is built and the vegetables sell through local markets.