Spring is sprung at Waupoos! The grounds are looking great. The buds on the trees are making their way out despite the below seasonal temperatures and the rain every second day. Several raised garden beds behind the farmhouse have been planted with peas, tomatoes, beans and carrots. We’ve started a “wanderers garden” out behind the barn for things like squash, pumpkins, cucumber and the like – basically anything that needs room to roam. The grass is loving all the rain – we’re so thankful for a long-time friend of the farm taking over the 6-8 hrs of weekly lawn mowing – what a gift his dedication is – as well as his East Coast charm and smile.
The flower beds are looking absolutely stunning – thanks almost entirely to our #1 volunteer gardener (you know who you are): she is another treasure to have around. And out beside Cottage 2, there’s plenty of evidence of the creativity and hard work of its new residents.
We have also adopted several new furry and feathery friends. Almost all the animals on the farm are new and struggling to get to know each other. The baby goats (AKA “kids”) got out the other day and the mother started trying to ram the emu as though he had something to do with it; while the new sheepdog, still, a pup, barked loudly desperate to try herding. Joe has been training Basho (the pup) by going from one farm animal to the next and saying, “Mine”, so he knows what to protect and what to chase away. He’s getting there, but we didn’t trust that he wouldn’t scare baby goats so we didn’t let him off the leash. After a few bounds into the fence instead of through the door, the cute little things bounced back to mommy through the open gate. And all was well again.
Not unlike the animals, the farm residents AKA “Farm Management Team or FMT are new and figuring out life together. From what we’ve heard from past residents, this has been one of the biggest struggles of living at Waupoos – the “living with others” part of the mission. Maybe we’re naive and in the honeymoon phase, but we’ve had little of that. We had our first official(ish) FMT meeting last week, complete with a good deal of laughing, carrying on, and a healthy side of teasing.
Chris and Rachel O’Connor (Cottage 2 new residents) are just finishing unpacking and Father Mark Slatter (Cottage 7 resident) has lived on site since March. We (Aleisha and Joe Yawney) moved in late August last year. We’ll try and put some healthy community-living practices in place at the outset and bumble along with the necessary ups and downs as we live out the call to “Pray, Work, Play” together and pray God takes care of the rest.
Unlike the traditional model at Waupoos where you have long-term residents teach newcomers the ropes and pass along the culture and the practical knowledge necessary to run the place, Aleisha and Joe pretty much rode by the seat of our pants these past 8 months. There’s been highs and lows, but on the whole, we love it here! It’s telling that Joe is finally feeling inclined to write a blog post – with a full contingent of farm residents, at last, the normal craziness around here seems a lot more manageable.
One subset of our community that is also coming into a new springtime is the Board of Directors. If you are a passionate professional with a heart for the poor, The Waupoos Foundation Board of Directors may be a great fit for you. Between the capital improvements thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation grant over the past year, the tremendous community support and increase in volunteers, the new farm residents and potential residents, Waupoos Family Farm is coming into full bloom. It’s a choice time to get on board with a tremendous mission. “A Christ-centered community dedicated to offering low-income families vacation” – can you think of a more wonderful idea to spend yourself for?
We feel blessed to be part of it. We’d love you to join us. So if you or someone you know has professional experience in
- policy or grant writing,
- working with contractors,
- has legal expertise,
- is proficient in accounting, etc.
We would love for you to consider joining our board. Now is the ideal time to reach out with the Annual General Meeting less than a week away where the board welcomes new members. The commitment is a minimum of 2 hrs/month for the meeting (you don’t have to be physically present – you can call in) with whatever more time/talent you can muster to help on (a) committee/s between meetings.
Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information – and use your gifts to help the Waupoos community flourish.