Adirondack Council’s Essex Farm Institute has awarded 15 micro-grants totaling $32,000 to local farmers and value-added food producers, in an effort to build a climate-friendly local economy in the Adirondack Park.
It was the seventh consecutive year that the Adirondack Council has awarded micro-grants to farmers and small business owners who want to reduce their environmental impact and adapt to a changing climate. This year’s grant criteria were modified to accommodate both larger operations as well as projects featuring collaborations between several qualified applicants.
Among them are several installations of solar and electric alternatives to carbon-based energy while others focused on the sequestration and remediation of environmental contaminants in the water or atmosphere. Altogether, the proposed projects demonstrate how relatively small financial investments can have an outsized impact on the Park’s natural resources, agricultural lands, and can serve as a model for other rural communities.
The micro-grant program has now awarded $190,937 in the last seven years to support over one hundred local projects in the Adirondack Park, helping to preserve natural resources, enhance environmentally beneficial farming practices, produce healthy local food, and reduce energy use.
This year, the Council received 36 complete applications seeking over $65,000 in support. Adirondack Council staff and Essex Farm Institute committee members were assisted by Aaron Thomas and Becca Halter of the Adirondack Land Trust, and retired Adirondack Council Director of Research and Education Mike DiNunzio in its application review and evaluation process.
The Micro-Grant program “challenges the conventional wisdom that profitability and environmental stewardship are at odds with one another” said Klepetar, Adirondack Farm Advocate of the Essex Farm Institute. He added, “our program recognizes the outstanding leadership of livelihood farmers and value-added producers who are developing solutions to address local and global ecological challenges.”
The 2022 Grantees are:
- Triple Green Jade Farm, Willsboro: $1500 to support the purchase of an electric utility vehicle for on-farm usage;
- Adirondack View Vineyard, Keeseville: $1500 to install an electric distillation system for lavender essential oil;
- Crown Point Farm & Dairy, Crown Point: $1500 to install a recovery tank for reusing water needed to cool milk;
- Mace Chasm Farm, Keeseville: $1500 to purchase a tree spade for planting silvopasture nut/seed/tree crops;
- Green Street Family Farm & Sawmill, Keeseville: $1500 to install solar powered greenhouse exhaust and intake fans;
- Berube Botanicals, Vermontville: $1500 to build greenhouse end-walls to promote expansion of food and medicinal products;
- North Country Creamery, Keeseville: $1500 to hire an electrician to oversee installation of a 75kW photovoltaic system;
- Essex Farm | Wrisley Family Farm | Adirondack Hay and Grains | Fledging Crow Vegetables, Champlain Valley: $8000 towards the purchase of a Roller Crimper (cover-crop termination implement) to be shared among farmers;
- Juniper Hill Farm, Wadhams: $3000 to support the purchase of tree-planting implements to establish a riparian buffer along the Boquet River;
- Hub on the Hill, Essex: $3000 to support the installation of roof-mounted solar hot water preheater for shared-use kitchen;
- Full and By Farm, Essex: $1500 towards the purchase of an electric log splitter to replace borrowed gas-powered two-stroke splitter for firewood;
- Black Kettle Farm, Essex: $1500 to install and test a system that uses submerged biochar to remove excess fertilizer in lakes in streams;
- Open Gate Farmstead, Keeseville: $1500 towards the establishment of an educational “you-pick” center focusing on native/medicinal plants and climate resilient watering systems;
- Norman Ridge Farmstead LLC, Vermontville: $1500 to build an expanded farm store to increase sales of grass-fed meat in the rural community; and
- Twin Hill Farms LLC, Paul Smiths: $1500 to install solar power generation that powers an indoor propagation space.
The Adirondack Park is a 9,300-square-mile patchwork of public and private lands that comprise the largest park in the contiguous United States. Its public lands are protected from logging and development by New York’s Constitution. Private lands consist of commercial timberlands, resorts, estates, businesses and homes, in and around 130 rural communities, nine of which are incorporated villages. The park has 130,000 year-round residents and hosts 12 million annual visitors.
For more information visit Adirondack Council’s website.