Climate Resilience Grantees
The NH County Conservation Districts Climate Resilience Grant program is a farm viability program to improve the resilience of NH farms in the face of extreme weather events and a changing climate. Direct grants to farms to invest in on-farm infrastructure, equipment, and innovative practices will support farm profitability and the long-term viability for NH’s agricultural sector.
We are pleased to announce that SCCD awarded two grants this year. Learn about the grantees below.
Community Composting at Winter Street Farm, Claremont, NH
Organic Farmers Jonathan Hayden and Abigail Clarke are mindful of the impacts of a community's waste stream on the overall climate and are enthusiastically working with partners to reduce these impacts in Sullivan County. "According to the EPA, in the United States, food is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills, where it emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Municipal solid waste landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the US, accounting for approx. 14.1 % of these emissions in 2017." (www.usda.gov/foodlossandwaste/why) The NH Conservation Districts Climate Resilience Grant is partially funding their project to provide the necessary infrastructure at Winter Street Farm to increase their community composting program. Winter Street shared that, "by diverting food scraps, that are currently ending up in the landfill, to our farm, we are directly offsetting the carbon cost of the food we grow to feed the community. We are also sequestering that carbon back into the soil, instead of locking it in a landfill. The final compost product will increase the organic matter of our soil, reducing the need for off farm fertilizer inputs. Over time, we aim to partner with a waste company where we will be the drop off location and they will be able to pick up food scraps from restaurants and other collection sites."
Reducing Herbicide and Water Use at Bascom Road Blueberry Farm, Newport, NH
Keith Brodeur, a first generation farmer, acquired a few more acres and is expanding his production to include more fruits and vegetables. He has been working with local agricultural partners to conserve water and reduce chemical use on his farm. One way he plans to do this is by purchasing a piece of equipment called a plastic mulch layer with the funds provided by this grant. Plastic mulch keeps water in the ground and prevents weeds from growing up through it, reducing herbicide use. He also plans to utilize wireless soil moisture sensors on the new acreage so watering only occurs when necessary. According to the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), produce travels an average of 1500 miles from farm to plate. When there is a diversity of food grown and sold locally, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. By expanding the products locally available at his farm, Keith is also helping to build a resilient food system in Sullivan County.