Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Microgrants boost farms’ sustainability efforts

North Country CreameryIn celebration of Earth Day 2021, the Adirondack Park’s largest environmental organization awarded 21 micro-grants totaling $29,601 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 sixth 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.

“The Adirondack Park’s clean water, clean air, wildlife, wilderness and communities are threatened by climate change. We want to help farmers throughout the Adirondack region to be climate friendly, energy efficient and more sustainable,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway. “Investing in our local food system now can bring benefits for years to come.”

Awarded projects include composting units for local food waste recycling, an electric-assist cargo-bike, cover cropping, energy-efficient equipment and more.

The micro-grant program has now awarded $158,997 in the last six years to 88 local farms and small businesses 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 42 complete applications seeking a total of $73,395. Adirondack Council staff and Essex Farm Institute committee members were assisted by Adam Dewbury, Local Food System Director at Adirondack North Country Association, in its application review and evaluation process.

 “The successful micro-grant program has been made possible by the generous support of the Klipper Family Fund and other donors,” said Janeway. “These grants are laying the foundation for the Adirondack Park’s low-carbon future. We thank them for their faith in us and this innovative grant program.”

“Local farmers know what needs to be done. Too many lack the funding to do it. The Klipper Fund is pleased to have been part of this micro-grant program from its start in 2016.” said Courtney Klipper, co-founder of the Klipper Fund. “We are pleased to see the renewed interest in farming by so many young families.  We want to support that trend.”

“Healthy farms are already playing an important role in limiting climate disruption in the Adirondack Park,” said Nathaniel Klipper, co-founder of the Klipper Fund.  “They absorb and sequester carbon dioxide, reduce the impacts of storm-driven flooding and help us to avoid burning fossil fuels to get the food and farm products we need.”

“We also thank everyone who has purchased a Carbon Reduction Certificate from our Cool Farm/Healthy Park program,” Janeway said. “It’s an affordable way for anyone to help farms, businesses, the Park and the world.”

The 2021 Grantees are: 

  • Adirondack Naturals, Saranac Lake: $1,500 to erect a greenhouse with windmill and solar generator. 
  • Ausable Brewing Company, Keeseville: $1,500 to replace uninsulated fermenting vessels with insulated fermenting vessels to conserve energy. 
  • Berube Botanicals, Vermontville: $1,500 to erect a farm stand to sell locally grown organic produce.  
  • Blackberry Hill Farm, Athol: $1,500 to purchase portable solar powered fencing for rotational grazing. 
  • Blue Line Compost LLC, Saranac Lake: $1,500 to purchase materials for bagging locally sourced compost to sell. 
  • Cook Family Enterprises LLC, Owls Head: $1,500 to build a containment area for composting manure. 
  • Cornell Uihlein Maple Forest, Lake Placid: $1,500 to purchase a thermostat control for the vacuum pump, a battery-powered chainsaw and small reverse osmosis equipment. 
  • Craigardan, Keene: $998 for the remediation of heavily logged lands with cover crops for pasture creation and pollinator forage. 
  • Echo Farm, Essex: $1,500 to purchase equipment to deliver biodiesel to local farms. 
  • Essex Farm, Essex: $1,500 to render animal fat into biodiesel to be used on-farm.  
  • Forever Wild Farm, Lake Placid: $1,500 to purchase organic compost and new compost units. 
  • Four Leaf Clover Bee Farm, Ellenburg Center: $650 for organic mite treatment for bee colonies. 
  • Full and By Farm, Essex: $1,500 to purchase an electric-assist cargo-bike for on and off farm transportation. 
  • Harris Family Farm, Westport: $1,500 for a draft horse drawn potato harvester and work harness for new draft horse. 
  • Hub on the Hill, Essex: $1,500 for a free air pump and educational materials.  
  • Mad Crazy Flowers, Elizabethtown: $1,500 to purchase solar heating equipment for a solar powered dehydrator.  
  • Mark Twain Mapleworks, Saranac Lake: $1,500 to install a culvert and bank stabilization to mitigate soil erosion. 
  • Norman Ridge Farmstead, Vermontville: $1,500 for local hardy grass and legume cover crops. 
  • North Country Creamery, Keeseville: $1,500 to design a new hay barn to hold solar panels for on-farm electricity.  
  • The Workshop in V-ville LLC, Redford: $1,500 to build a high flow composter and improve composter housing unit. 
  • Twin Hill Farms LLC, Vermonville: $1,500 for the conversion of a heated basement to a growing room.  
Photo: North Country Creamery courtesy of Ben Stechschulte.

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John Sheehan

Before John Sheehan joined the Adirondack Council's staff in 1990, he was the managing editor of the Malone Evening Telegram, and previously worked as a journalist for the Troy Record, (Schenectady) Daily Gazette, Watertown Daily Times and Newsday. For the past 20 years, John has been the voice of the Adirondack Council on radio and television, and on the pages of local, regional and national media.




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