Tom Yelton stepped down from the Stearns Farm Board this year after serving on it continuously since the Board was created in 1990. In addition to serving as a Board member, Tom has been the farm’s volunteer webmaster for as long as the Farm has had a website. He has also single-handedly maintained the composting toilet since it was installed.
Tom’s work on maintaining the composting toilet is emblematic of his deep commitment to sustainability and to Stearns Farm.After building the shed that houses the toilet with Malcolm MacNeill, Tom has quietly and reliably kept the toilet functioning. Tom believes strongly that an organic farm with limited plumbing should have a composting toilet rather than a port-a-potty. And he lives up to his conviction by maintaining that toilet: monitoring the waste levels, making sure everything is in balance, and, when necessary, removing the solid waste and using it as fertilizer his own yard, since it isn’t approved for use in farming.
His work as the webmaster is similarly unobtrusive, yet essential. Tom established a website for Stearns Farm when the idea that every organization should have a website was relatively new. At a time when there were no off-the-shelf software programs for running a website for a small farm, he wrote the code himself and, for many years, hosted the website on his own server. In recent years Tom has overseen the migration of Stearns Farm website into WordPress, and he continues to serve as the webmaster.
Tom will continue to be a sharer at Stearns Farm. He is looking to pass the torch of both webmaster and composting toilet maintenance to other dedicated farm members.
Thank you, Tom, for all that you do behind the scenes at Stearns Farm.