The Adirondack Council has awarded 12 micro-grants totaling $26,000 to local farmers and value-added food/beverage/fiber producers. The initiative is an effort to support climate-friendly economic activity in the Adirondack Park.
The Essex Farm Institue, a project of the Adirondack Council, supports local sustainable agriculture by working directly with farms and by advocating for soil health, habitat connectivity and climate change mitigation. This is the eighth 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 application drew proposals from almost two dozen small and mid-size agricultural enterprises as well as projects featuring collaboration between farmers.
Among this year’s funded projects are efforts to replace fossil fuel energy sources for on-farm needs; the production and distribution of local fertilizer/compost to improve soil health; upgrades to improve food and maple processing efficiency; and support for transitions toward rotational livestock grazing.
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 more than $200,000 since 2015, supporting over one hundred local projects in the Adirondack Park. Collectively these projects continue to preserve natural resources, enhance environmentally beneficial farming practices, produce healthy local food, and reduce energy use.
This year, the Council received 20 complete applications seeking almost $40,000 in support. The Essex Farm Institute was assisted by Adam Dewberry, Food Systems Coordinator for the Adirondack North Country Association and Hannah Grall who coordinates food security projects with ADK Action.
The 2023 Grantees are:
River Bottom Farm (Wadhams) – $1500 for installation of a solar-powered water pump to irrigate a 30’x96’ high tunnel.
Norman Ridge Farmstead (Vermontville) – $3000 for perimeter fence materials for rotationally grazing cattle on an additional 75 acres.
Mark Twain Maple Works (Saranac Lake) – $1500 to purchase a new maple finishing pan that will increase efficiency.
Full & By Farm (Essex) – $1500 to install a hybrid electric heat pump water heater and retiring its propane-powered equivalent.
River Valley Regeneratives LLC, Ben Wever Farm, Sugar House Creamery (Redford, Willsboro, Jay respectively) – $8,000 for raw materials to fabricate and set up mobile composting equipment including scientific instruments, a mobile-screening unit and a compost applicator to be shared among producers.
Three Daughters Maple (Willsboro) – $1500 – to design and construct a reverse osmosis filter along with evaporator upgrades to reduce firewood consumption.
Meadow & Mountain Farm (Moriah) – $1500 – to expand spruce, balsam and other evergreen plantations using a rented commercial tree planter and application of organic fertilizer.
The Cook Farm (Owl’s Head) – $1500 – to purchase and utilize a small dump trailer to make and move compost without compaction.
Creative Kitchen Garden (Westport) – $1500 – to establish a mass planting of 2,000 + native wildflowers.
Craigardan (Elizabethtown) – $1500 – to create a public educational composting and growing system that is accessible to all members of the community.
Open Gate Farmstead (Keeseville) – $1500 – to create mobile meat and breeding rabbit housing that improves soil conditioning and install solar powered light and rainwater collection system in the rabbitry.
Blue Line Compost (Saranac Lake) – $1500 – to purchase 35-gallon trash cans with lids & wheels to expand mobile collection service to larger clients, and to reduce the vehicle trips required to gather waste.
For more information visit the Adirondack Council website.
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