Grange Notes by Tim Swartz, Grange President (with everyone’s help), February 3, 2021
Hollister Hill Farm: the next chapter
Neal and Catherine Dunlop left their home in Washington, D.C. with their four kids to take over Hollister Hill Farm in Marshfield, Vermont. Their previous farming experiencing consisted of being guests at the Hollister Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast. Neil says his life reminds him of the Chevy Chase movie “Funny Farm.” They’ll talk about their reasons for wanting to get back to the land, how they were inspired by previous generations of back-to-the-landers, and what they’ve found since they took over in November 2020.
Hollister Hill Farm used to be owned by the Light family, who like the Dunlops started with little or no farming experience when they moved to Vermont in the 1970s. You can see pictures of the farm and the bed and breakfast at their HollisterHillFarm website, where they say: “This is a real farm, with real farmers, real animals, real tractors, haying equipment and manure spreaders. We make our living farming and inn-keeping.”
After the presentation, there should be time to ask some questions of the Dunlops and discuss the whole question of passing on farms. As Vermont’s farm economy continues to change, with stresses from environmental regulations to pandemic market changes to generational shifts, the motivations for transferring stewardship of farms affects all communities, and all of us who like living in a rural landscape.
To join the Zoom meeting starting at 5:00 from your computer or smart-phone, use this link:
Meeting ID 826 1666 4552
To join the meeting, audio only from your phone, dial this number: 646 558 8656
Before the program: an informal Grange meeting from 4:30 to 5:00
- A quick look at our finances, as we make our funds stretch with income only from a few tenants.
- Berlin Town tax exemption: we submitted an “Article” for the Town to vote on (by Australian ballot only) on March 2nd. Unfortunately, the Selectboard decided to amend our request for complete property tax exemption to be only a request for Municipal–not School–tax exemption, and only for one year. We will still need to campaign! and to plan for more tax relief next year.
- Several comments have been received about the timing for our Grange Programs being a bad time to attend, even virtually. We should discuss this, too, if we have time–I hope we can have a couple of volunteers to come up with possible alternatives, for a more relaxed discussion at our March meeting.
Please follow this link to join us:
A good time was had by all, at the 5th Saturday House Party!
In addition to music played live, we also got to see some Highland Scottish dancing from Joanne, Appalachian flat-footing from Aaron, and also heard a poem by Montpelier poet and musician Susan Reid, read by Sam Sanders with music by Aaron.
A slide show of Grange Hall activities–from dances to building improvement projects to Kids Trade & Play to Valentine’s Day hearts on the doors, and much more–was also put together by Oliver from pictures sent in by various folks–a reminder of our active Grange in less pandemic-y times. We all can’t wait to open up again!
If you missed this concert, you can see everything but the Zoom breakout rooms at:YouTube: https://youtu.be/KdAnA6fZr60
And on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
Below, one moment captured, with a variety of faces in the Zoom boxes!