2017 Annual Retreat

This year, Sunflower River held our annual retreat, a four-day visioning retreat and planning meeting which doubles as quality social time for the farm-fam, at the home of some friends in Silver City, NM.

This was probably the smoothest, most efficient retreat we’ve had yet — our process gets more organized and functional every year, and we are now 9 years old, so we’ve been practicing a while. Part of the smoothness of the retreat was probably due to our improved household kanban, a system of two whiteboards with sticky notes, organized from Project (large things we’re working on) through Stewards-Only tasks (current tasks related to projects that cannot be delegated to interns), Stewards Current tasks, Upcoming Tasks (which will become Available once the Available ones are complete), and Available tasks, which any Steward or intern can pick from at any time, and which tend to be our most urgent set of tasks. Ideally, all tasks are related to a Project, and every Project has at least one next-step task on the board. Each intern has their own section, so they take a note from Available, and “own” that note until they’ve finishe dit, when they move it to Complete. Stewards likewise move their tasks to the Complete section when they’re done. Each week at house meeting, we go through the board, make sure our real work is reflected there and that the board is tracking reality, and we celebrate the Completed tasks.

This process has so improved our communication and ability to accomplish sets of tasks, that most of those things didn’t even come up at the Retreat. It was all 2017 planning, instead.

here was 2016:

and here we are on retreat.

The discussion topics on that table are sorted from Thinky to Thingy.

We’ve elected to take a Jubilee Year from our work parties, from Feb 2017-Feb 2018. This means that except for specific projects, we’re “resting our ask” — we’re not going to ask the community to come work with us every month. We’ll still do our monthly work days and monthly family work days, except now they’re basically all family days, unless somebody reads the event page on our website here and decides to show up. Which is entirely welcome, but we’re not putting out the constant ask.

In 2018, we’ll presumably resume asking. :)

Meanwhile, if you want to know when things are going on, you can sign up for one of our mailing lists! We’re going to be relying on email more and facebook events less from here on out. So this is far and away the best way to find out what’s going on at SR!