This spring, NOFA-VT awarded our fourth round of Resilience Grants for projects that will improve long-term resilience on farms and in communities across Vermont. We received 159 applications from farmers around the state and made 58 grants benefitting 62 farmers, totaling over $150,000. Thirty-three of the grants were awarded to farm businesses that are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-led, LGBTQ farmer-led, and/or disabled farmer-led.
We continued to learn this year about how farmers define resilience and saw the continued intense need for flexible funding, often not available through other grant programs. We saw many recurring themes from past grant rounds, demonstrating some shared resilience needs, including:
- Soil health building practices such as organic fertility inputs, permanent no-till beds, and rotational grazing infrastructure.
- Agroforestry practices and biodiversity-supporting efforts, including hedgerows, perennial cropping systems, and forest farming.
- Water improvement projects such as rainwater catchment, irrigation supply and monitoring systems for production resilience to drought, and irrigation ponds.
- Community food security efforts including migrant farmworker kitchen gardens, community garden projects, sliding-scale farm stands, and educational programming on growing and preparing foods.
- Economic viability improvements including post-harvest storage, farm stands for expanding markets, and equipment to launch new ventures.
This year’s Resilience Grants were funded with donations to the NOFA-VT Resilience Fund as well as generous support from Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, Judy Geer & Dick Dreissigacker, Modesty Is My Best Quality Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, Sustainable Future Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, and WaterWheel Foundation. If you're interested in supporting the resilience of local farms, please consider donating today.
2023 Resilience Grantees
Merryweather Meadows, Armando Crespo, Shoreham
This diversified farm will improve resilience by installing a frost-free hydrant and drip irrigation system, also allowing them to be more efficient and targeted in resource usage.
Sunny Hill Farm, Paige Heverly, Randolph
Good Morning Farm, Darvid Markwood, Randolph
These two farms will collaborate to build a “Pay What You Can” farmstand. Fresh produce, eggs, meat, dairy and other local goods will be made available 24/7 to their underserved community, offered for what community members can afford to pay.
The Center for Grassroots Organizing, Henry Harris, Marshfield
This educational and organizing nonprofit farm hub will finish building and outfitting their 3-season kitchen facility to support the myriad of projects happening at the center. These include an agroecology school, cooperative food production with the Nulhegan Abenaki, and a youth-led “food and land sovereignty” group.
Lower Notch Farm, Matt Bryan, Bristol
This historic vegetable and berry farm will construct a greenhouse to build capacity, resilience, and biodiversity on the farm. This structure will support events, herb drying and processing, and raise plant stock for both production and pollinator hedgerows
Janine Farm, Janine Ndagijimana, Burlington
This farm will purchase a corn drying machine to reliably process corn into flour for storage and distribution. This will expand products and market access, further supporting the farm’s distribution to customers, the Food Bank, and refugee communities.
The Flying Buffalo LLC, Hazel D. Adams, Montpelier
This small vegetable farm will construct a caterpillar tunnel to have a more reliable and healthy production space for their root vegetables and expand capacity to serve customers including a farmers market, nonprofit, and local food manufacturer.
New Tradition Farm, Stoni Tomson, Williston
This farm will support their long-term goal of moving towards perennial cropping systems by establishing a hillside food forest on a site they have long-term tenure of. This will start with a 1-acre planting of over 100 nut and fruit-bearing plants, including hazelnuts, chestnuts, and American persimmons.
Opera House Farm, LLC (DBA the People's Farm), Christopher Helali, Vershire
This budding livestock and organic apple orchard operation will prepare their farming site by cleaning up collapsing structures and other materials where they will establish their permanent operation. This is the first, crucial step in healing and restoring their land.
The Mint Yard, Kayla Veilleux, Lyndonville
This farm will set up a solar energy system to support their off-grid garden, irrigation system, and electric tools with the cleanest energy possible.
Giant Journey Farm LLC, Kendra Dias, Newfane
This diversified vegetable and livestock farm will build and outfit a shared tool shed, and purchase a tent and materials for their outdoor, all-weather meeting and workshop space. This will support their Garden Kit Program, which empowers participants with the knowledge and materials they need to grow their own vegetable shares.
Firefly Flowers, Jennie Davis, Colchester
This cut flower farm will create a covered outdoor space to provide on-farm education and sales opportunities. This will expand income streams and support their “Cultivate Joy” project, bringing customers together to learn and build their own bouquets from farm-grown flowers.
How Sweet It is, Louise Bouffard, Newport Center
This apiary and Christmas tree operation will purchase a vaporizer for organic management of their bee hives, tools for transplanting trees, and materials for their barn renovation.
Triple J Pastures LLC, Jennifer Rodriguez, Irasburg
This vegetable and livestock farm will outfit their new greenhouse with raised beds, compost and drip irrigation to have increased growing capacity and build farm viability with product and income stream diversification.
Sobremesa at Wool Folk Homestead, Caitlin Elberson, Charlotte
This sheep farm will use funds to retrofit an old outbuilding on their land as a barn for their flock. This will allow them to grow their operation with the space they need for housing and lambing, and provide high-quality, grass-fed meat to their community.
Critter Meadows, Merri & Daniel Paquin, Williamstown
This multigenerational organic dairy farm will complete a farmstand building with electricity, refrigeration and freezer in order to diversify their operation and offer healthy, local meat and produce to their community.
Firefly Farm at Burke Hollow, Michelle LaRocque-Tipton, West Burke
This vegetable and maple farm will complete upgrades to their irrigation system for more reliable, safe, and efficient water usage. These improvements will include a pumphouse at their irrigation pond and field sensors to monitor soil moisture, accurately measuring water needs.
Westminster Wagyu, Ethan Illingworth, Westminster
This beef farm will complete the barn they need to house and grow their herd on their home site. With their herd centralized in one location, they can pursue further local enterprise partnership opportunities with neighboring farms.
TaG Flowers, Georgia McDougall, Burlington
This farm will expand by creating a no-till, regenerative urban flower garden to provide florals for local restaurants. A portion of the existing lawn will also be converted to a wildflower garden, providing habitat and food for pollinators.
The Farm Upstream, Corinne Froning, Richmond
This grant will assist this collective of vegetable farmers with the costs of securing a farm, challenging traditional structures of land ownership with this shared venture.
SUSU CommUNITY Farm, Azlan Thompson, Newfane
This charitable food system nonprofit will provide free “Box of Resilience” CSA shares to 45 families, as well as access to their Food as Medicine classes. Families will both be provided food, as well as the knowledge to cook and preserve their share.
Spring Water Berry Farm, George McKenzie, West Glover
This berry farm will complete the construction of a high tunnel to increase growing season crop variety and protected growing space. This will allow an expansion in the variety of fruits available during peak farm visit season.
Couching Lion Maple Sugar Farm, Chaska Richardson, Huntington
This maple farm will purchase equipment to increase educational walking trails for visitors to tour the farm and sugarbush and learn about the wildlife present in their Bird Friendly Maple Project.
The Wild Farm LLC, Ariana Wild, Topsham
This organic, diversified farm will complete a number of resilience-building projects including rainwater catchment systems, equipment for their draft horse, and seeding plants to improve their pasture fertility and forage quality for their dairy and meat goats.
Elmore Roots, David Fried, Elmore
This organic plant nursery will create informational signage in their existing food forest and pollinator support trails. These trail displays will show plant species and the pollinators and birds visiting them.
Sandiwood Farm LLC, Sara Schlosser, Wolcott
This multigenerational farm will purchase a glass-door refrigerator for their farmstand and irrigation equipment for new high tunnels.
The Huertas Garden Project, supported by the Vermont Garden Network and University of Vermont Extension
This project will source and distribute plants for kitchen gardens to migrant farmworker households across Vermont’s dairy industry. This will help address disparities in access to nutritious and culturally familiar food, and will help bridge barriers of isolation and social inequality.
Grace Farm, Grace Mooney, Athens
This farm will build a farmstand, creating a significant income stream for the farm, as well as the only source of food to a town where the closest source of fresh produce is over a half hour’s drive away. Local neighbors in need will have access to a “pay what you can” produce program.
Bone Mountain Farm, Tucker Andrews, Jericho
This diversified organic farm will insulate an existing farm structure to have more reliable and flexible post-harvest storage. This will increase the farm’s capacity to store winter squash by 20,000 pounds, dramatically increasing late-winter sales, and also serve as cool storage in summer.
Peaked Hill View Farm, Rosalie Williams, Enosburg Falls
This diversified organic farm will use funds to purchase materials to complete the construction of their new high tunnel, and allow larger scale production of fresh vegetables for families in need.
Green Mountain Hosta Nursery, Janet Rivers, East Dover
This perennial plant farm will build the ecological resilience of their farm by expanding native plant communities in their production areas and surrounding woodlands, as well as introduce beneficial nematodes to their soils for natural pest control.
The Mackenzie, Lina Hristova, Woodstock
This farm will purchase equipment and seed to establish organic vegetable production in an old pasture field. With an emphasis on soil health, the transition and future crop management plan focuses on building organic matter and managing weeds with minimal soil disturbance and no use of chemicals.
Groennfell Meadery LLC, Ricky Klein, Swanton
This farm will establish productive hedgerows focused on nut, fruit and mushroom production. In addition to planting trees and shrubs, they will utilize organic waste streams from other local businesses to produce edible mushrooms in the understory of their hedges.
Carman Brook Farm, LLC, Karen Fortin, Swanton
This maple producer will install a UV light water filtration system to eliminate contamination from well water to protect product integrity and the health of the farm family, employees and customers. This will allow for both organic certification and drastically reduce fossil fuels currently utilized to sterilize water.
Trenchers Farmhouse LLC, Jennifer Vascotto, Lyndonville
This farm will use grant funds to establish a dedicated wash pack facility for eggs and vegetables. This facility was co-designed with staff to provide both efficiency and cleanliness for the farm operation as well as a more comfortable work environment for employees.
Ascutney MTN Horse Farm L3C, Ascutney MTN Horse Farm L3C, Perkinsville
This educational farm will make improvements to grounds and infrastructure to increase capacity to host therapeutic land-based programming and community events.
Hardwick Community Garden & Orchard, Hayley Williams, Hardwick
This community garden will expand a collective gardening project by using local compost paired with recycled and donated materials and labor to establish no-till growing beds.
Elderways Farm, Schikoy Hause, Cabot
This diversified operation will purchase materials to build a barn. This multipurpose space will provide animal shelter for birthing and harsh weather conditions, milking stalls for raw milk production, and storage space for tools, feed, and the harvest.
Fools Farm, Caroline Gordon, Tunbridge
This farm will start a breeding program for their rotationally-grazed sheep flock by purchasing rams and the materials needed for their long-term care.
Juanita's Kitchen, Juanita Facteau, East Burke
This operation will increase production capacity by building a potting shed to augment their main greenhouse, providing space for plant propagation and care. They will also establish a worm-based composting system for on-site fertility production.
Folk + Fauna, Jacqueline Degregorio, Johnson
This farm will establish a plant nursery to provide native plants, herbs and flowers to their community. They will also build an outdoor education space to connect their community with the local ecosystem through plant-based education.
Fowler Farm, Joseph Agrillo, Whitingham
This grant will support the farm’s transition from annual-based production to perennial plant systems. They will construct a plant propagation area, as well as establish an apple and nut orchard.
New Leaf CSA Farm, Elizabeth Wood, Dummerston
This farm will increase the resilience of their production by implementing innovative improvements to their hoophouses for security against high wind events and increased drainage for excess precipitation. The farm has observed these improvements visiting operations in other parts of the world, and hopes they will increase resilience for extreme weather events for producers here in Vermont.
Winterfound Forest Farm, Matt Dami, Woodstock
This livestock and agroforestry farm will increase existing enterprises and establish new ones to increase economic viability while demonstrating a model of productive farming and ecological restoration.
Valley Clayplain Forest Farm, Mark Krawczyk, New Haven
This perennial crop and mushroom farm will establish an irrigation pond to supply water for their mushroom, berry, and vegetable operation. This will dramatically increase resilience in the face of increasingly uneven and irregular summer rainfall.
Khelcom Farm, Khelcom Farm, Berlin
This farm will establish a permanent wash station to increase efficiency, economic viability, workflow and food safety.
Clyde River Farm and Forest, William Manning, Island Pond
This diversified farm and forest products operation will invest in a solar electric installation to reduce their carbon footprint and address the dramatically increased cost of powering their irrigation and vegetable processing and storage facilities.
Hillside Botanicals, Sarah Shaw, Randolph
This medicinal herb farm and nursery will create a new intensive growing area with organic fertility inputs and a resilient irrigation system.
Lambert Farm, Jennifer Lambert, Graniteville
This organic dairy will build a farm stand to increase direct meat sales, as well as offer a retail outlet for other local farmers.
New Leaf Organics LLC, Jill Kopel, Bristol
This cut flower and vegetable operation will use grant funds to dedicate staff and management capacity to create the foundation for a farm transition plan. Staff training will increase responsibility and explore moving towards a formal partnership and shared ownership model.
Arbor Farmstead, Alisha Utter, Grand Isle
This vegetable farm will retrofit an existing hoop house with reliable heat for propagation and season extension.
Ascutney Harvest, Ascutney Harvest, Windsor
Grant funds will be used to build, outfit and promote a self-serve farmstand to increase on-farm sales and provide other local producers an avenue for selling their products.
Northwoods Creamery, Ellen Fox, Newport
The Spotted Ewe, Yvette Palmer, Newport
Maple View Sugarworks, Cheryl Wright, Westfield
These three farms will purchase a mill to produce wool pellets from waste wool from their own and other’s sheep operations. Farm viability is increased by creating a market for a product currently considered waste, increasing income potential for sheep producers. Resilience is also increased for the local food supply by offering an innovative new fertility input for growers, as wool pellets are an organic source of slow release nitrogen, increase soil water retention capacity, build organic matter and soil structure. No other inputs are needed to produce the pellets, and they offer a source of nitrogen without phosphorus, a boon for water quality in many farm contexts.
Wilder Farm, Jessica Simpson, Lyndonville
This farm will purchase equipment for a paper pot seedling production system, increasing reliability of vegetable plant production, reliability of early-spring production, and support their low-till growing system which primarily utilizes hand tools.
Flag Hill Farm, Sebastian Lousada, Vershire
This organic apple orchard and agroforestry farm will plant 600 new nut trees and shrubs to increase crop diversity and ecological resilience, and replace the aging deer fence protecting their cider apple orchard.
June Farm, Brooke Giard, at The Intervale, Burlington
This cut flower farm will invest in perennial native woody shrubs to build biodiversity and pollinator habitat, while increasing production of woody stems to meet local wholesale demand.
Tomorrow's Acres Farm, Tim Hoopes, Burlington
This grant will support the establishment of a rotationally-grazed turkey enterprise, as well as permanent no-till vegetable beds.
Evening Song Farm, Kara Fitzbeauchamp, Rutland
This organic farm will install a wood pellet furnace to heat their seedling greenhouse. This eliminates the use of fossil fuels, supports the local forest products industry, and mitigates risk in spring freeze events.
Hogwash Farm, Leslie O'Hara, Norwich
This livestock farm will purchase a trailer for a mobile, inspected facility to offer regeneratively-farmed prepared foods at farmers markets and events utilizing their own pastured meat and eggs. Breakfast sandwiches will be a first focus, offering a popular value-added product to customers.
The Abenaki Tribal Garden, Chief Shirly Hook and Community, West Braintree
This tribal community garden will purchase materials and supplies to expand the growing space and capacity of their food production. Community members increase food security and work together to use traditional organic Abenaki methods to grow vegetables, herbs, and ceremonial plants from heritage seed. This project provides a space for tribal members to re-establish connections with one another and a shared cultural heritage through food traditions.