Posts Tagged ‘Economic Opportunity’

Sustainable Nantucket is Grateful Recipient of Grant Support

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Sustainable Nantucket would like to thank the following organizations for their recent, generous grant awards:

ReMain Nantucket has awarded SN a $7,500 grant, designed to aid SN in remaining in our downtown offices in 2012. Clif Bar Family Foundation has awarded SN a $5,000 grant to be used for operating expenses. The Agua Fund has awarded SN a $3,000 grant to be used for operating expenses. The Community Foundation of Nantucket has awarded SN a $1,000 grant to assist with our Farm to School Program.

Sustainable Nantucket would like to express our sincere gratitude to these organizations for their generous support of our mission, vision and programs.

Locally Grown Dinner Series: End of Season Thanks

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Last night friends and supporters of Sustainable Nantucket gathered at American Seasons to give thanks and celebrate an evening of beautiful food at the final Locally Grown Dinner of the 2011 Series.

Chef Michael LaScola artfully paired treats such as Nantucket bay scallops from Nantucket Fresh Catch and native pork belly from Faraway Farms with seasonal vegetables from our growers, while Orla LaScola and her team provided exceptional (more…)

Update on Land Use Partnership Initiative with Pilot Grazing Project

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

In 2011 Sustainable Nantucket launched our Land Use Partnership Initiative with a Pilot Grazing Project in partnership with the Nantucket Island Land Bank and Faraway Farms. A Sustainable Nantucket apprentice worked with Island livestock farmers Caleb Cressman, Dylan Wallace, Nicole DuPont and Andy Harris –all of Faraway Farms– and learning how to maintain a small flock of sheep and chickens on the Land Bank’s Craig Property. In 2012, our 3-way land-use partnership will be re-located to the Land Bank’s Pout Pond Rd. property – a four acre parcel off of Milestone Rd. (more…)

About SN’s Land Use Partnership Initiative

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Photo by Dylan Wallace

It’s hard to imagine now, but according to this map on the Nantucket Historical Association’s web site, there were over 100 farms on Nantucket in the 1850’s. In 2007, when SN started our Farmers & Artisans Market, Nantucket had 3 farms (one of which was NCF’s Cranberry B0gs) and a handful of small scale growers operating commercially. Today, in 2011, there are 7 farms plus several small-scale growers that are commercially growing and harvesting food (produce, eggs, meat, honey, shellfish) for sale to Nantucket consumers.

It’s no surprise to anyone that the cost of land on the Island makes commercial farming prohibitive for most. Nantucket farmers are additionally burdened with higher operational costs than most off-island farmers – fuel, equipment, supplies and materials, not to mention labor and overhead, are generally more expensive on Nantucket. Yet as a community we understand the positive health, environmental and economic impact that supporting local agriculture can have. Sustainable Nantucket has begun to examine ways that it can help support and increase agricultural industry on the island, and give consumers greater access to the foods produced by local farmers.

Sustainable Nantucket has worked closely with Island growers to identify the role we can play in supporting and helping to grow the Island’s agricultural industry, and, in response, we have launched the Sustainable Nantucket Land Use Partnership Initiative.

This initiative is designed to increase agricultural acreage through partnerships with land-owning organizations and individuals, and to establish a skilled agricultural workforce on Nantucket through collaboration with experienced island growers. We aim to establish an educated and trained agricultural workforce while increasing the amount of land farmed on the island. Elements of this Initiative include:

  • Making more farm land available through Land-Use Partnerships with the Nantucket Islands Land Bank and other land-owning entities
  • Expansion of our already-existing Agricultural Apprenticeship Initiative —where we pair apprentices interested in becoming farmers with experienced island growers.
  • Expanding agricultural production and “growing new growers & farmers” through education

Current Projects

  • Our Grazing Project pairs an SN apprentice with local livestock farmers from FarAway Farms to graze the Pout Pond Rd. property owned by the Nantucket Islands Land Bank. Read more – CLICK HERE.

The Future

Laying the groundwork for potential use of additional Land Bank land as well as land owned by other organizations and private landowners is in process and we continue to explore expanding acreage through partnerships with other organizations and private land-owners – eventually creating a network of grazed and cultivated land all over the island.

SN Wraps Up First Season of Mid-Island Farmers Market

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

The first season of Sustainable Nantucket’s Mid-Island Farmers Market at 113 Pleasant Street has come to a close, but SN staff and volunteers, encouraged by the positive response to the Market, are already thinking ahead to the 2012 season. (more…)

Agricultural Business Planning Courses Scheduled for Early ’12

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources is offering workshops January – March of 2012 for those in varying stages of agricultural business.

Explorers – For those who are thinking about getting into farming or expanding a hobby to an income-generating scale, “Exploring the Small Farm Dream” delivers experienced Instructor guidance and timely peer group feedback for making informed decisions about whether and how to proceed in farming. Five sessions over 6 weeks on weekday evenings in Amherst and Marlborough. Cost per enterprise: $125.

Planners – for those a step or two beyond Explorer who have access to land and a stronger sense of what they want and are capable of doing, “Planning for Start-up” provides a gut check before making more significant investments of time and money. Requires completion of Explorer, or prior self-guided completion of the Explorer workbook. Applicants must have already reached the decision to farm on a revenue generating scale. Six session over 8 weeks on Saturday mornings in Amherst and possibly also in Marlborogh based on regions demand. Cost per enterprise: $175.

Established Farmers – For those already operating and agricultural enterprise with at leaset two years of production and sales records, and who need to develop a comprehensive business plan on paper, “Tilling the Soil of Opportunity” offers a chance to assess, regroup, assemble documentions for decision making, consider redirection, plan expansion, or approach ownership transer. This course draws on extensive peer experience, instructor knowledge and guest speakers with the addition of substantial indivuidual technical assistance at course condclusion. 10 sessions over 11 weeks on weekday eveninings in Amherst and Marlborough. Cost per enterprise: $225.

Explorer and Tilling the Soil courses are limited to 12 farms/potential agricultural businesses, with an option to bring a key partner at no extra cost. Planner is limited to 10. Full attendance is require to get expected results. Fees are kept low through MDAR support.

Please request additional details and an application for the course that fits you best. Courses will fill quickly in the Fall. Email requests to Rick.Chandler@state.ma.us, or CLICK HERE

Sustainable Nantucket launches premier issue of new annual publication ~ Nantucket Grown™

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

***View & download Nantucket Grown™: click here.***

We are delighted to announce that we have just released the premier issue of Nantucket Grown™, a new annual publication designed to expand our Nantucket Grown™ branding and outreach campaign encouraging island visitors and residents to source their produce and products locally.

(more…)

Mid-Island Market Starts Tuesday!

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

We are pleased to announced that Tuesday, July 12th will be the opening day of our Mid-Island Farmers Market! The Market is located at 113 Pleasant Street, next to Glidden’s Seafood, and Market hours are from 3:30 – 6:30 PM.

We hope this will make Market shopping more accessible to those who cannot make it to town on Saturdays, and that it will provide even greater access to our regular Saturday customers.

The Mid-Island Market will run through August 30th and is, of course, weather permitting. As with the Saturday Farmers & Artisans Market, weather cancellations will be posted here on our web site, on Facebook and Twitter.

A Great Start – Kicking off the 2011 Farmers & Artisans Market Season

Friday, June 24th, 2011

The Sustainable Nantucket Farmers & Artisans Market got off to a great start on Saturday, June 11th! Vendors and Market goers persevered through the chilly weather and wind and got lots of tasty produce from seven farmers and growers and beautiful jewelry, art, and lots more from fourteen different vendors. The Nantucket Boys and Girls Club and the Nantucket Visitors Center also attended, garnering support for their causes from passersby.

Sustainable Nantucket is pleased to be celebrating its 5th season with a wonderful group of vendors, new Market Manager Sunny Daily and the launch of our pilot second Market day. The Mid-Island Farmers Market includes produce and value-added producers (baked goods, honey, etc.) and will be held Tuesdays, weather permitting from 3:30pm – 6:30pm.

“2011 has brought about a lot of change on the island and for the Market as well. Not only have we expanded our Market to offer a second Market day where customers can purchase their local produce and value-added goods mid week, at a mid-island location, but we also worked with the Health Department to create safety regulations for selling local eggs at the Market as well.” Says Sunny Daily, Market Manager.

The 2011 Market season will see canning demonstrations involving specialty crops and canning material raffles due to the generosity of grants via Jarden Ball Jar and the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture.

This year’s Market will also include children’s activities, reading time with costumed characters by Nantucket Bookworks, live music from local favorites like the 4 Easy Payments and students & artists from NCMC.

Photos by Mitch Blake

2011 Community Agriculture Program Workshops

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Throughout the year, Sustainable Nantucket, as a part of our Community Agriculture Program, will be hosting Workshops on a variety of topics relating to sustainable gardening methods, food production, and preserving local foods. Below is a complete list of workshops; click the links to read the full descriptions and to register for these workshops. (more…)