February 2019
PITNEY MEADOWS MONTHLY CONNECTOR
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT:
MARTEL CATALANO

I hadn't grown up gardening in my New Jersey suburb and hadn't been taught about it until I went to Skidmore where, during my senior year, they piloted their own vegetable garden and I dipped my toes in briefly. I knew that growing food is an environmentally and economically conscious pursuit, but hadn't had much exposure to it. In the spring of 2017 I went to Napa Valley and had an opportunity to work on a wonderful farm that really lit me up inside. I loved being outside, doing something so beneficial for myself, others, and Earth. Right when I got back, I set out to find a local community farm and saw that Pitney Meadows was having its first public meeting. I went to that meeting, feeling like the youngest person in the room, but knew that I needed to get a plot at the community garden . It wasn't even a question for me. 
Farm Bill Overview by Board Member Kim London

Our long range plans at Pitney Farm are to provide education and outreach to beginning and existing farmers. As we grow and develop with our strategic partners, like the school district, area farmers and food producers, Cornell Extension, and other non-profit organizations, we were especially interested in the recent passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and what support it had for Beginner Farmers.
Please Join Us!
Community Gardeners Gathering

Do you love to garden? 
Please join us on the farm this year! The Community Gardens at Pitney Meadows offer a place for beginner to experienced gardeners to grow together. This spring, after the construction of 40 new garden beds, we’ll have over 100 plots ready for returning gardeners, those who have been on a wait list, and some new gardeners as well!

Join us on Wednesday, February 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at our 112 Spring Street conference room (lower level) for a Gardener Gathering. Stop by to learn more about the gardens, meet other gardeners, hear about upcoming programs, or pick up an application .
IN THE NEWS

Times Union coverage of our Farm to School program. “Our goals of good nutrition for students, agriculture education, and the importance of future farms align perfectly,” - Margaret Sullivan

Saratoga Today coverage of our upcoming capital improvement projects made possible by a generous donation from Judith A. Pitney and an additional grant from the Lowe's Foundation.

Saratoga Today coverage of our Winter Social.
AN EDUCATION TO LAST A LIFETIME
The Pitney Meadows team, along with our partners at Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the Saratoga Springs City School District kicked off the Farm-to-School program with a presentation to the School Board earlier this month. With the help of Abby Case, the Cook/Manager at the Senior High, our farmer Aliza Pickering (pictured above) and other team members helped serve everyone in attendance roasted sweet potato wedges from the Farm. Speaking to the Board, our Director, Ken Kleinpeter said, "If a child can eat a piece of lettuce or a sweet potato here at school and know it was grown at the Community Farm she visited on her school field trip -- if she can connect that good taste to a place right here in her community -- now that is an education that will last a lifetime."
WINTER SOCIAL RECAP

We all had a blast at Artisanal Brew Works in early February for our 3rd Annual Winter Social. New friends and old joined us in a toast to our accomplishments to date. Thanks to our team of volunteers who put the event together and to our friends at AWB who provided such a fun atmosphere, and of course, really delicious beverages. Congratulations to all the raffle winners as well!
THANK YOU TO OUTGOING BOARD MEMBER KATIE PETRONIS

The Board would like to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of departing Board Member Katie Petronis. Katie joined the Board in 2016 and has served as our Secretary keeping us organized and on task through many Board meetings and initiatives. Katie writes of her time serving on our Board, “The Farm's early days were inspiring and exhausting. It was incredible to see just how many people were excited about the Farm and the promise of its vision. I couldn't believe the number of volunteers who stepped up to do anything they could to support the effort. To see the amount of work that was being accomplished with no staff, on the backs of passionate volunteers and dedicated founding and early board members was truly remarkable. Now, with a Farm Director, a dedicated group of full and part time staff, a fantastic Board of Directors, and our ever-committed volunteers and supporters, the things we're going to accomplish this year will astounding.”

We look forward to seeing Katie on the Farm as one of our dedicated volunteers moving forward.
 
VOLUNTEER COORDINATION CHANGES
As our organization continues to grow, and systems and policies are put in place, we have an eye toward improving our volunteer coordination. Many of know that we use an online platform called Basecamp to help coordinate our volunteers (250 of you!) for project-based work, general outreach, idea sharing, and celebrations! We will continue to use Basecamp in this way, but some changes are coming that you we would like to share with you.

In March, we will be re-organizing Basecamp to reflect our current organizational and committee structure. As such, some of the projects or teams you are a part of may shift. The "Helping Hands HQ" will remain the point of contact for all volunteers. As we recruit volunteers for new committees or projects, you will be added to those spaces as well.

Interested in becoming a volunteer? We'd LOVE to have you! Please sign up on our website at the button below to tell us about yourself and the skills you'd like to offer. Once you register, someone from our team will be in touch and will add you to Basecamp. Thanks to all of our volunteers for all you do!
SAVE THE DATE: COMMUNITY FORUM
Please mark your calendar for our upcoming Community Forum on Sunday, March 31st from 2:30pm-4:30pm. We are currently securing a location in Saratoga Springs accessible to all. This event is free and open to the public.

As the Farm enters its third year, and after a rigorous strategic planning process, it's time once again to gather as a community to offer our feedback and input. There will be breakout sessions looking for input on our community gardens, farm operations, local food security initiatives, fundraising, community collaborations and much more.

This truly is YOUR farm and we need your valuable input. Stay tuned for more details!
Stay Tuned Each Month for More Updates!
Our Farm restoration, programming, activities, and recreational opportunities depend on the generous support of our community. Please consider becoming a supporter today. Learn more.