We received 151 applications from farmers around the state and awarded 65 grants, totaling over $158,000. These grants were for up to $2,500 each. Twenty-five of the grants went to farm businesses that are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC)-led, LGBTQ farmer-led, and/or disabled farmer-led.
Some of the recurring themes for this year’s round of grants were infrastructure improvements, water and irrigation investments, soil health, biodiversity, and food access efforts. Other themes present in several awards included building a local economy through farm stands, reducing fossil-fuel use across farm systems, and education for the public. For the first time, collaborative applications (ranging from 2 to 7 farms in each set) sought communal resilience, supporting efforts beyond the nuclear farm family towards collective thinking.
This year, we have been excited to develop and learn from a participatory grantmaking process for these grant awards. This winter we convened a farmer and farmworker grant review committee to make the funding decisions. Our goal with this participatory, democratic participation model was to shift power away from the organization and into the hands of those we are in service to—and for those people to ultimately determine what projects had the biggest potential to bolster resilience on farms and in communities.
This year’s Resilience Grants were funded in part with donations to the NOFA-VT Resilience Fund, as well as generous support from Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, Chelsey Ring Giving Fund, Justin Reidy and Meaghin Kennedy, People’s United a division of M&T Bank, Raven Ridge Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, Sustainable Future Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, Vermont Community Foundation COVID-19 Fund, and WaterWheel Foundation.
If you're interested in supporting the resilience of local farms, please consider donating today.
Diggers Mirth Collective Farm, Naomi Peduzzi, Burlington
Tamarack Hollow Farm, Amanda Andrews, Barre
These two farms will use grant funds to grow food for a pop-up farmstand that sets up in New American and working-class neighborhoods and serves people regardless of their ability to pay.
Does’ Leap, George van Vlaanderen, East Fairfield
Larson Farm and Creamery, Richard Larson, Wells
Maplemont, Amber Reed, Barnet
Meeting Place Pastures, Marc and Cheryl Cesario, Cornwall
Pigasus Meats, Phelan O'Connor, South Hero
Robinson Hill Beef, Graham Unangst-Rufenacht, Marshfield
SVTFarm, Laura Ann Burch, Wells
Two Worlds Farm, Diane Imrie, North Ferrisburgh
These seven member farms of the Land Care Cooperative will use grant funds to cooperatively purchase and use the “Vermont Ripsower,” a subsoiler with a seeder and liquid applicator. The Ripsower interplants diverse, deep-rooted flowering mixes, decompacts soils, triggers and aids topsoil-formation processes, and applies farm-brewed biostimulants and minerals to seeds during planting.
Wagon Tail Farm, Zan Walker-Goncalves, Brattleboro
Brook Meadow Farm, Lisa Holderness, Brattleboro
These two farms, collectively with other women-led farms, are seeking to create a micro-neighborhood of farm businesses sharing one piece of land, with a historic barn at its center. They will use grant funds as matching funds for a Historic Barn Preservation Grant. The restored barn will serve as a hub of educational programs, low-cost housing, and shelter for farm animals.
Amber Roots Farm, Judith Springer, Irasburg
This farm will use grant funds to create a native plant nursery and affiliated botanical preserve that seeks to promote species native to our landscape that are well-adapted to withstand climate change.
Ananda Gardens, Patrick Sullivan and Melisa Guzman, East Montpelier
This farm will use grant funds to build a permanent farm stand that will be more resilient to weather events and allow them to extend their sales window.
Anjali Farm, Mrinalini Mazumdar, South Londonderry
This farm will use grant funds to renovate an old structure to create a community root cellar for their own CSA as well as other farms and community members.
Ascutney Mtn Horse Farm, Kathryn Adams, Perkinsville
This therapeutic horse farm will use grant funds to make land and infrastructure improvements to implement a permaculture plan and diversify their on-farm income streams.
Astro Farm, Astrid O'Connor, Northfield
This small vegetable farm will use grant funds to construct a walk-in cooler that will enable them to expand their business.
Bear Roots Farm, Jon Wagner, Williamstown
This vegetable farm will use grant funds to purchase a grain drill to improve and expand their cover cropped acreage, thereby helping to improve soil quality.
Bear Swamp Farm, Katie Black, Wolcott
This farm will use grant funds to rebuild a high tunnel that was destroyed by a wind storm in 2019 in a way that is more resilient to severe weather events. The tunnel will be used as a space to provide place-based education and teach food production techniques.
Big Picture Farm, Lucas Farrell, Townshend
This goat dairy will use grant funds to install solar panels on their barn to move towards 100% renewable energy consumption.
Boreas Ventures, Malcolm Greene, Montpelier
This hemp and cannabis farm will use grant funds to test a variety of edible companion plants for their ability to reduce pest and blight pressure on hemp and cannabis crops while increasing pollinator friendly plants.
Bread & Butter Farm, Corie Pierce, Shelburne
This diversified farm will use grant funds to improve the physical and financial accessibility of their food to community members by creating wheelchair access, adding SNAP/EBT processing to their farm store, and adding more accessible CSA pick-up locations.
Breadseed Farm, Douglas Wolcik and Kayleigh Boyle, Craftsbury
This farm will use grant funds to purchase a paper pot transplanter, which will increase the efficiency and capacity of this small farm.
By Hand Farm, Laura Xiao, Newfane
This farm will use grant funds to bring new land into production and set up a portable irrigation system on leased land, while digitally documenting the process to educate other farmers with temporary land tenure.
Calabash Gardens, Jette Mandl-Abramson and Claudel Chery, Wells River
This saffron farm will use grant funds to convert an on-farm in-law apartment into a processing center for their saffron and value-added farm products as well as on-farm lodging.
Chertok Wines at Belmont Orchards, Max Rose, Shoreham
This farm will use grant funds to integrate hens into a rotational grazing system with sheep in their fruit orchard to reduce pest pressure and improve soil fertility.
Cloud Water Farm, Racheal Ouellette and Joseph Bossen, Warren
This farm will use grant funds to establish diverse varieties of basketry willow as strip crops lining fields of fruits and vegetables. The willows will create diversified income streams, meet a demand for local weaving willow supply, serve as riparian buffers, and provide wind protection.
Delicious Dirt Farm & Apothecary, Alexandra Sterling, Fairfax
This small farm will use grant funds to purchase a variety of tools, such as a paper pot transplanter and coolbot, to increase efficiency and expand production.
Drift Farmstead, Misse Axelrod, Roxbury
This educational farmstead will use grant funds to build a community farm store to retail their own and other farms’ products. Since they are located in a food desert, this farm store will make fresh produce and meat available to their underserved community.
Feel Good Farm, Barbara Conn, Wolcott
This farm will use grant funds to rent a woodchipper to turn logged treetops into materials for no-till beds that support microorganisms, pollinator insects and other wildlife.
Feel Good Farm, Hayley Williams, Craftsbury
This newly created women’s farming collective will use grant funds for materials and infrastructure to kick start their farm. They will create no-till beds, repair a greenhouse, and build a root cellar.
Four Leaf Farm, Michelle Lussier, Barton
This over-producing vegetable garden-turned-farm will use grant funds to improve irrigation systems and build a more permanent farm stand, which will expand the hours and variety of crops that can be available to the local community.
Fresh Roots Farm, Colemann R Colburn, North Pomfret
This farm will use grant funds to pour concrete slabs in their storage and wash areas. The concrete will increase heating and cooling efficiency and be integrated into a wastewater collection system to stabilize irrigation.
Garden of Ishtar, Ishtar collective, Montpelier
This mutual aid project that produces food for free distribution in the community will use grant funds to purchase hand tools to increase volunteer capacity and a farm vehicle to widen their distribution range.
Good Hands Farm, Elizabeth Schueler Bleakley and Nachiket Kumar, Brownsville
This vegetable farm and goat dairy will use grant funds to purchase hoop houses to extend their growing season and protect crops from severe weather events.
Heartsong Community Farm, Cassandra Cartwright and Phoebe Tucker, Ludlow
This farm will use grant funds to increase vegetable and medicinal herb production to provide on a sliding-scale and donation basis to the community.
High Low Farm, Timothy Fox, Woodstock
This diversified farm will use grant funds to create gravity fed water supply infrastructure to supply fresh water to their pastures, gardens, and silvopasture areas.
Ice House Farm, Chad Beckwith, Goshen
This goat dairy will use grant funds to build a farm store to feature their own products as well as those of other local farms and create a venue for an on farm dairy CSA pickup.
Kimball Brook Farm, Hilary DeVos, North Ferrisburgh
This farm will use grant funds for marketing as they transition from a large dairy to a smaller beef farm.
Long Wind Farm, Caroline Noble, East Thetford
This farm will use grant funds towards a geologic survey needed before drilling geothermal wells so they can move away from heating their greenhouses with propane. With the success of this project they will be the first carbon-free source of organic, soil-grown tomatoes year-round in the United States.
Maeflower Farms, Danielle Zimmerman, Rupert
This small dairy farm will use grant funds to install a hand water pump in their barn, which will enable expanded educational and agrotourism offerings as diversified income streams.
Mai Shiitake, Maxwell Van Houten, Waitsfield
This mushroom operation will use grant funds to operate a five-part series of low-cost gourmet and medicinal mushroom gardening workshops, which will educate community members while establishing mushroom gardens on farms in central Vermont.
Minister Maple, Douglas and Kathleen Wighton, Franklin
This sugarbush will use grant funds to add a water source to their sugarhouse by drilling a well. This will improve their sanitation practices while reducing their carbon footprint and water consumption.
Misty Mountain Farm, Sharon Haumann, Townshend
This farm will use grant funds to create raised vegetable beds for their agrotourism guests and to enjoy and for local school children to use in their afterschool programs.
Moon Castle Farm, Carley McKee, Topsham
This vegetable farm will use grant funds to establish permaculture corridors on land that is not suitable for crop production. The plants from these corridors will expand their CSA offerings and create habitat for beneficial insects.
Naga Bakehouse, Julie Sperling, Middletown Springs
This farm will use grant funds to create a regional flour mill that will enable them to purchase grains from local farmers for their bakehouse.
New Leaf Organics, Jill Kopel, Bristol
This farm will use grant funds to create employee housing on-site to ensure their employees can find reliable housing in their rural community. They have teamed up with four other farms in the area to collaboratively address the need for more affordable housing and stable, year-round work for farm employees.
Nona Lea Family Homestead, Kristianne Gale, Chelsea
This homestead will use grant funds to plant a living edible fence around their poultry and fowl pastures, which will protect their animals from the road, create habitat for wild species, and produce food they can share with their community.
Osgood’s Organic Farm, George & Mary Osgood, Corinth
This dairy farm will use grant funds to rehabilitate and fence a poor quality pasture to replace their leased pastures that were bought by out of state landowners.
Peaceful Harvest Mushrooms, Karen Wiseman, Worcester
This medicinal mushroom farm will use grant funds to convert a three-season porch into a herbal practitioner space and farm and wellness stand that will showcase their own products as well as those of local farms.
Retreat Farm, Katie Paolizzi, Brattleboro
This farm will use grant funds to host a community dinner for the 200+ stakeholders of their Community Food Project, which makes local farm products available to all community members regardless of their financial means through its pay-what-you-can farmstand and sliding scale CSA. The dinner will allow stakeholders to deepen personal connections and engage in constructive dialogue to inform future programming decisions.
Revolution Farm and Apiary, Nathina Duncan, Corinth
This farm will use grant funds to convert an existing building into a farm stand and workshop. They will install solar panels to make the building self-sufficient.
Sandy Bottom Farm, Mary Catherine Graziano and Patrick Helman, Isle la Motte
This farm will use grant funds to purchase a backhoe attachment that will enable them to install a permanent year-round water supply to their seed and wash/pack houses.
Shat Acres Highland Cattle, Janet Steward, Plainfield
This grass-fed cattle farm will use grant funds to pour a cement floor in their barn where community members can view and feed the animals. The cement floor will expand access to the animals to community members with mobility limitations.
Snug Farm and Compassion Center, Colleen Todd, Ripton
This farm rescues retired or abused farm animals and invites people who have experienced trauma, children with special needs,and elders with Alzheimer's and Dementia to the farm for compassionate animal/human connection. They will use grant funds to fence additional pastures and build a small barn for guests to interact with the animals.
Steadyfoot Farm, Allison Gulka, Walden
This farm will use grant funds to install an interceptor drain, which will lower their water table, allow for deeper aeration of soil, and make nutrients available to their plants. It will reduce the farm’s soil compaction, nitrogen loss, and fertilizer requirements.
Stewart Maple, Elliott Stewart, Cuttingsville
This sugarbush will use grant funds to purchase electric off-road vehicles, which is part of a larger plan to move towards fossil fuel-free maple syrup production.
Sustainable Woodstock Community Gardens, Woodstock
This community garden will use grant funds to run their Grow Your Own Garden program, which will provide seeds, seedlings, and education for economically-challenged Upper Valley families to grow their own produce in community garden plots.
Sweetland Farm, Norah Lake, Norwich
This farm will use grant funds to purchase a Perfecta Field Cultivator, which will enable them to more reliably and effectively plant cover crops ahead of and behind their livestock. With this cultivator they will be able to integrate their livestock with the other farm enterprises and enable them to rotate our livestock production across more of our farm’s fields.
Tell A Tale Farm, Philip Prevosto, Poultney
This farm will use grant funds to purchase a caterpillar tunnel, which will extend their growing season and their community’s access to fresh, local produce.
The Farm Upstream, Jacqueline Huettenmoser, East Montpelier
This farm is a collective of four young farmers leasing three separate plots while facing land access barriers. They will use grant funds to build a mobile cold storage unit, which will expand the crops that they are able to grow while they search for a permanent home.
The Stevens Farmstead, Jane Costello, Sudbury
This market garden grows produce for VYCC Farmacy Shares and Everyone Eats meals. They will use grant funds to add a subpanel to their greenhouse and improve fencing for the outside gardens.
Understory Farm, Gregory Witscher, Bridport
This farm will use grant funds to replace an old gasoline farm truck with an electric golf cart (powered by their solar panels) for elderly employees to use for harvesting, shuttling plants and moving efficiently around the farm.
Vermont Organic Reclamation, Meghan K. Jarvis, St. Albans
This farm will use grant funds to expand their Captain Veggie Man program, which grows and distributes produce free of charge to limited-income families.
Wagon Tail Farm, Zan Walker-Goncalves, Brattleboro
This farm, collectively with other women-led farms, is seeking to create a micro-neighborhood of farm businesses sharing one piece of land, with a historic barn at its center. They will use grant funds as matching funds for a Historic Barn Preservation Grant. The restored barn will serve as a hub of educational programs, low-cost housing, and shelter for farm animals.
Wild Roots Community Farm, Jon Turner, Bristol
This farm serves as a community partner with UVM and Middlebury College, hosting student groups each semester. They will use grant funds to support their dedicated projects with student groups to develop wildlife corridors, perennial food systems, riparian buffers and habitat restoration.