Community Supported Solar Project Moves into Next Phase

CCCD now soliciting farmer interest for this net metering opportunity: Eighteen shares available to farms for purchase

The Cheshire County Conservation District is excited to announce that the Community Supported Solar array at Sun Moon Farm in Rindge has been installed and farmers are now being sought to sign up for shares in this net metering opportunity! This is a partnership with Sun Moon Farm, ReVision Energy, and the Monadnock Sustainability Hub, with funding from the Thomas W. Haas Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation.

This Monadnock Region Community Supported Solar Project is an effort to help local farmers stabilize and lower their costs of electricity. A number of agricultural producers in the Monadnock region have expressed interest in solar, but many do not have the capital to invest in the infrastructure and/or a good location for the PV system. The Community Supported Solar model allows for community investment to offset the costs of the participating farms.

The CCCD is now taking requests from local farms interested in purchasing shares in this net metering project. Shares are limited, so interested farms should contact Amanda Littleton at the CCCD sooner rather than later.

Currently, 18 shares are available for purchase on a first come, first served basis. Each estimated 5000 KWh produced will constitute one share. Farmers may purchase as many shares as they want, but the total output cannot exceed the total power the farm consumes on an annual basis. One share costs $4,523. Participating farms must be located in the Eversource NH utility service territory. To confirm eligibility, farmers can review the PUC utility coverage by town listings at: https://www.puc.nh.gov/Consumer/communitiesserved.pdf

If you believe your farm can benefit from lowered energy costs and you’re interested in this net metering opportunity but want more information – please join the CCCD at an upcoming Virtual Info Session on either Wednesday, January 6th from 3:30pm-5:30pm or on Thursday, January 14th from 10am-12pm. Both meetings will be held virtually on Zoom. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link. Please register online at: https://cssinfosession2021.eventbrite.com.

Interested farmers should contact Amanda Littleton directly at the CCCD to reserve their shares; first come first served until sold out. Either send an email to amanda@cheshireconservation.org or call 607-756-2988 x4 and leave a voicemail.

New Hampshire Farm Products Map

From UNH Cooperative Extension

Finding Local Healthy Food in a Crisis 

Farm Map

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many residents are avoiding or limiting trips to crowded supermarkets. It can be difficult to know if certain products will be available at grocery stores because of high demand. “Staple” food items like eggs, milk, bread, fruits and vegetables are needed more than ever, as families prepare most, if not all, meals at home.

Connecting farmers directly with consumers allows for curbside pick-ups or delivery methods that maintain physical distancing while providing local, nutritious food to New Hampshire communities. In addition to food essentials like meat, produce and dairy, farmers can list other offerings like cut flowers, hay, compost, seedlings, soap, candles and more.

Extension’s online map includes farm locations and contact information, farm-preferred methods for relaying product, marketing updates to the public (websites and social media accounts), payment options, alternative purchasing locations, purchasing incentives/food access programs (such as SNAP, senior discounts or veteran discounts) and product category listings.

For Farms

Farms and related companies that want to be included in the map should use the new site entry form. Those already appearing on the map may make changes by using the update a listing form.

CLICK HERE TO ADD YOUR FARM TO THE MAP

To Help Share the Map

Please consider adding one of the images below on your organization’s website and link to this website (https://extension.unh.edu/FarmMap) or the map directly (https://arcg.is/15L1fa).

The Monadnock Farm Share Program

50% off fresh CSA vegetable shares!

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) produce farms in the Monadnock Region have come together, in partnership with the Cheshire County Conservation District, for the second year of ensuring that farm-fresh CSA vegetable shares are affordable for all interested community members.

Shares are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The program will accept applications until June 1st or until all available shares have been awarded.

APPLY NOW!

95948099_3036571993052209_587361722898055168_o

Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund 2020 Grant Awards

The Monadnock Food Co-op announces six grant recipients for the 2020 Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund: Abenaki Springs Farm of Walpole, Green Wagon Farm of Keene, Pete’s Stand of Walpole, Picadilly Farm of Winchester, Stonewall Farm of Keene, and Windyhurst Farm of Westmoreland. The Farm Fund proudly distributed $27,411 among these six farms. Since starting in 2017, the Farm Fund has awarded over $59,000 in grants to fourteen local farms.

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 for the Farm Fund, supports farm viability in the region and promotes the responsible stewardship of natural and agricultural resources.

Abenaki Springs Farm will build a wash/pack shed for their certified organic vegetable farm. Green Wagon Farm will purchase ‘Harvest Carts’ to improve the ease and efficiency of harvesting strawberries and other vegetable crops. Pete’s Stand will secure a potato planter, potato digger, and wholesale packaging materials to scale up their potato production. Picadilly Farm will purchase a new set of precision vacuum seeders for field seedings of root crops and greens. Stonewall Farm will build a 14′ x 100’ caterpillar tunnel to expand spinach production into the winter and provide shade to offer a cool growing space in the summer. Windyhurst Farm will increase their milk tank storage from 2,000 to 6,700 gallons.

“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 of the NH Charitable Foundation.

Fundraising is already underway for the 2021 Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund grant cycle. During May, July, October, and November 2020, co-op shoppers can round up their change at the registers to donate to the fund. So far this year, shoppers have contributed over $7,600 to the Farm Fund.

For more information, please visit monadnockfood.coop/farmfund. To make a tax-deductible donation to the fund, please contact Amanda Littleton at the Cheshire Country Conservation District at 603-756-2988 ext 4 or donate anytime online at cheshireconservation.org/make-a-donation.