We are proud to announce this year’s recipients of the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund—a grant opportunity for local farmers through a partnership with the Cheshire County Conservation District. Funds for this year’s grant cycle came from a $4937 donation from Co-op Customers through a Round it Up drive, a $5,000 donation from Monadnock Food Co-op, and the rest from a generous Anonymous Donor.
A total of $14,050 will be awarded to four New Hampshire farms, Picadilly Farm of Winchester, Echo Farm of Hinsdale, Brookfield Farm of Walpole, and Tracie’s Community Farm of Fitzwilliam.
Picadilly Farm: will use their grant towards Crop Storage Expansion which will help them stretch sales to local wholesale customers like our co-op into February, March, and April. To accomplish this, they aim to install and build one additional crop storage space with temperature control. Once in place, they’ll have low-cost, long-term, on-farm storage space for 12 pallets, an estimated 18,000-20,000 pounds of root crops.
Echo Farm will use their grant to replace their pudding filler machine with a newer, more efficient machine capable of producing multiple sizes. This will also increase the quality of the pudding and make a more consistent product because batches can be able to be packaged faster (pudding gets thicker as time passes). Currently, their 1998 filler can package at a rate of 10 cups per minute. A new machine would be able to package 30-35 cups per minute!
Brookfield Farm will use their grant to improve their Grassfed Ground Beef Labeling and promotional materials — to better tell the consumer about the benefits of the product— therefore increasing the sale of this farm product, and increasing the profitability of their meat sales. This product aligns well with the values of many co-op customers: it is local, Certified Organic, and grass-fed. Without labeling or a website, customers would not be able to recognize this great product for what it is.
Tracie’s Community Farm will use their grant for the purchase a row seeder in order to increase their seeding efficiency of wholesale crops (Asian Greens, Lettuce Mix, Cilantro, Kale, Spinach, Dill, Carrots, Beets, Parsnips, Turnips, and Radishes). It will also enable them to increase the percentage of land planted under cover crops in the fall and winter to help both reduce weeds and enrich the soil.
The Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund’s mission is 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 our co-op’s End’s Statements, and the Cheshire County Conservation District’s focus on supporting the viability of farm businesses and the stewardship of natural resources that farmers provide.