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Monadnock Food Co-op Announces 2022 Farm Fund Grant Recipients

The Wooster family of Picadilly Farm is one of the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund grant recipients. (Scott Hussey)

The Monadnock Food Co-op of southwestern NH announces six grant recipients for the 2022 Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund: Picadilly Farm, Partners’ Gardens, Grow a Pear Farm, Flying Cloud Dairy, Brookfield Farm, and Green Wagon Farm. The Farm Fund proudly distributed $32,000 among these farms. Since starting in 2017, the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund has awarded over $119,000 in grants to 17 local farms.

Picadilly Farm, a diversified farm in Winchester, NH, selling organically grown vegetables, will upgrade the cooling system of one of their walk-in coolers. This upgraded system will allow them to extend late winter and early spring sales of their storage crops.

Partners’ Gardens, a small-scale diversified farm that sells produce grown using organic practices in Nelson, NH, will install a 50-foot movable caterpillar tunnel. This infrastructure will allow them to harvest their greens earlier in the season, as well as harvest more fall greens as their season ends. During the middle of the season, the caterpillar tunnel will provide protected space for delicate vegetables such as cucumbers and tomatoes.

Grow a Pear Farm, an orchard that grows using organic practices and currently sells 34 varieties of rare heirloom apple trees in Charlestown, NH, will work with a local contractor to install wildlife exclusion fencing around the perimeter of the orchard. This fencing will allow the orchard to expand to 250 fruit trees while protecting trees from deer to ensure continued tree growth and fruit production.

Flying Cloud Dairy, a producer of fresh milk, yogurt, as well as hay, and beef in Alstead, NH, will update its milk cooling tank to ensure product stability. Upgrading to a new cooling tank will allow increased production and more time for deliveries. The upgraded tank will also increase energy efficiency.

Brookfield Farm, an organic dairy and beef producer in Walpole, NH, will upgrade its transport cooler system for frozen meat sales. Upgrading this system will increase sales by allowing for further transportation to farm stands and a new delivery service direct to their bulk customers.

Green Wagon Farm, a diversified farm that sells produce in Keene, NH, will install a third walk-in cooler at their retail farm stand in Keene. This new cooler and the upgraded system will allow for better storage of crops to increase sales, efficiency, and sustainability.

The Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund, created in partnership with the Cheshire Country Conservation District, has a mission to support local farmers in increasing sustainable food production and wholesale sales to contribute to a thriving local farm economy. This grant supports several of the co-op’s goals, including contributing to a healthy, sustainable food system, supporting local farmers and producers, and building a strong, sustainable, and improving local economy. The Cheshire County Conservation District, fiscal agent and partner for the Farm Fund, supports farm viability in the region and promotes the responsible stewardship of natural and agricultural resources.

“Our Farm Fund is an essential way to invest in the future of local, sustainable farming in our region,” said Michael Faber, Monadnock Food Co-op General Manager. “Especially in these times, it helps ensure we have a healthy, local food system for our community now and into the future.”

Funds for this program are provided by donations from Monadnock Food Co-op and its shoppers. Additional funds come from the You Have Our Trust Fund.

Fundraising is already underway for the 2023 Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund grant cycle. During May and July 2022, co-op shoppers can round up their change at the registers to donate to the fund. So far this year, shoppers have contributed over $11,000 to the Farm Fund.

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