2011 was on the whole a good year. Other than the ongoing work on the three houses, there were not too many extraordinary expenses. We did have to replace the water heaters in both rental houses as well as a sump pump in the barn house. Neal Fuhr was able to get us the pumps and heaters at a discounted price and he and Robert Carman (the new tenant in the Annex) did the installation.

Surveying continues to be another capital expense. The northern boundary of the farm has been surveyed and Neal marked it with purple painted fence posts. If anyone would like to see how the line runs, please let me know.

With our goats gone, we have gone back to trying to eradicate honeysuckle manually. Anne Dollimore has arranged for the first annual honeysuckle eradication outing on Sunday 25 March – please mark your calendars and join up! Thanks Anne!

The rehabbing of the family house and the tenant houses continued this past year thanks to John Fuhr. On the barn house there has been further replacement of windows and some siding work done. Siding and window work as been also done on the annex. The family house porch has been replaced.

David Pentland has gifted Kildare to the farm as the farm horse. Sadly, Ti Femme will not be with us much longer. She is getting lamer and lamer due to her tendency to founder. The managers accepted David’s gift as there as always been at least one farm horse. The farm currently maintains one horse (once Ti is put down) and Blossom.

Improvements were made to the Jack Cromie Trail with the addition of a sign set up along the trail. It has one of Jack’s poems carved in it. A bench in memory of Rebecca Hollo is across from the sign. Both the sign and the bench were thanks to monetary donations as well as work contributions. We are trying to get wild ginger and Christmas ferns established in the area.

Because of heavy rains and rising creeks we had to do more gaveling of the road this past year plus recover the wooden bridge to the pond as it was carried downstream by the flooding.

We continue to have the edges of the fields brushhogged in late August to keep the woods at bay. This year both pond dams were burned in early spring and then brushhogged in the late summer which has helped keep the brush and saplings at a minimum on the dams. The wildflower garden is also cut and cleared in late summer.

The farm continues to be a place where the family gathers and friends come. New City School has come out once in the spring and again in the fall with the first grade class. The St. Louis Mycological Society spent a day in the spring searching for mushrooms, and will do so again in 2012. Reunions, Easter and Thanksgiving were again celebrated.

Projections for 2012 inlcude more work on the family house and the barn house plus regrading and reseeding of the family house because of the work on the porch and the need to direct the water away from the house. Likewise we may need to do some work on the little pond to keep the water off the road down at the barn.

We also want to make sure that we are prudent when it comes to farm liability issues. With that in mind, we plan to fill up the cistern at the barn house as it has been compromised. We have had the one at the family house checked and it is fine for now. We will have a binder at the farm house containing the hunting, vehicle, fire and livestock policies. Please review them with your family and your friends. By following these guidelines we will be protecting not only the farm but all of us who use it.

Sarah Dunn, Farm Manager