Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneurs’

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


Friday, April 8th, 2011

Join Moors End Farm in sponsoring Sustainable Nantucket’s second annual Farm Fresh Feast! Corporate sponsors will receive exposure at the Farmers & Artisans Market, on the web, in Sustainable Nantucket’s Nantucket Grown publication, and at the event itself. By joining us as a sponsor of this major fundraising event, you will help us maintain our special programs that benefit our community in so many ways.

You see our efforts throughout the year – whether in our schools with our Farm to School program; in town at our Farmers and Artisans Market; in fields, kitchens and classrooms with our Community Agriculture Internship  Initiative and Workshops in beekeeping, four-season gardening, composting and more; in our restaurants with our Locally Grown Dinner Series; and at the Library with our Sense of Place Film Series.


USDA Organic Cost Share Program Applications Now Available

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Applications are now available through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources for Organic Cost Share Reimbursement. The Department has been awarded funds from the United States Department of Agriculture through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program for reimbursement to organic crop and livestock producers as well as processors that have been certified by a certifying agent.

Reimbursement is available to production and processing operations certified and/or receiving continuation of certification during the period of October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011. Payments to eligible producers and processors will be limited to 75% of an individual’s costs up to a maximum of $750.00.

Click here for reimbursement forms, or contact Ellen Hart, 617-626-1742,

SN Launches Nantucket Grown™ Brand to Benefit Local Food

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Sustainable Nantucket is pleased to announce the launch of our new Nantucket Grown™ brand aimed at promoting and encouraging the consumption of locally grown food on Nantucket.


Call for Agricultural Interns for 2011

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Sustainable Nantucket is proud to announce our second year facilitating agricultural internships for Nantucket farmers and food artisans. If you are a college student with an interest in agriculture or small scale food production, if you are ready to roll up your sleeves and work hard, and are open to the unique experiences island life can provide, we encourage you to apply to our program. (more…)

2011 Workshops – Beekeeping

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Photo by Don Hankins via Flickr

Learn the basics of managing a bee hive, as well as the biology and life cycle of the bee. This workshop will take place in three sessions, two in the classroom (May 4th & May 9th) and one on-site visit (May 14th) working with an actual hive!  The on site visit date is dependent upon class size. This date will be confirmed with you once the first session has occurred. Upon completion you will have a basic understanding on how to manage a successful, working hive. Suggested reading: (can be found at Atheneum Library or the Sustainable Nantucket library): Natural Beekeeping -Ross Conrad and/or The Beekeepers Handbook, Third Edition.

This is a three day workshop, offered once in 2011.
Class Fee: $125.00
Teacher: David Berry
Location: UMass Field Station – 180 Polpis Road
Date: May 4th, 9th, & 14th.
Times: 6pm-7:30pm – 4th and 9th (14th – time and location -TBA)
Last Date to Sign up: May 1st, 2011


For a full list of workshops and our refund policy, click here.

Financial, Business & Planning Resources

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Financial Resources:


(Includes organizations working in more than one state or region.)

The Carrot Project in cooperation with our non-profit and lending partners offer loans in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine.

Cooperative Fund of New England provides loans to all types of cooperatives.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was approved in 1996 by amending the Food Security Act of 1985 (Farm Bill), reauthorized in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 and again reauthorized in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.  EQIP provides a voluntary conservation program for farmers, ranchers and owners of private, non-industrial forest land that promotes agricultural production, forest management and environmental quality as compatible national goals. EQIP offers financial and technical help to assist eligible producers install or implement conservation practices on eligible agricultural land.

Equity Trust helps people set up innovative ownership models for land protection throughout the country. and provide technical assistance to many more farms working to gain security. Plus, they have a revolving loan fund.

Farm Credit is the largest agricultural lender in New England and New York. They have offices throughout throughout the region.

FarmStart, a program of First Pioneer Farm Credit and CoBank, assists beginning farmers and new cooperatives with seed capital. For more information contact 800-562-2235 or (Southern New England and Eastern New York).

National Council of State Agricultural Finance Programs has a directory of finance programs offered by each state department of agriculture.

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service assists land owners and managers conserve their soil, water, and other natural resources. NRCS provides technical and financial assistance for many conservation activities. There are multiple service centers in each state.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency is the federal government’s lender that works with farmers who cannot get loans from a commercial bank.

USDA Rural Development Promotes economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks and community-managed lending pools. REAP offers technical assistance and information to help agricultural and other cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their member services.  Rural Development achieves its mission by helping rural individuals, communities and businesses obtain the financial and technical assistance needed to address their diverse and unique needs.


First Pioneer Farm Credit with an office in Middleboro, MA.

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources offers various technical assistance, grant, and resource programs.

Massachusetts’ Farm Service Agency is the federal government’s lender in Massachusetts that works with farmers who cannot get loans from a commercial bank.

Washington Bank in Lowell.

Planning Resources:


(Includes organizations work in more than one state or region.)

AGPLAN: The agricultural, fisheries, and Small Business Planning website provides step by step guided instructions to help rural business owners develop a business plan free of charge.

ATTRA: National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service provides information and other technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, and others involved in sustainable agriculture in the United States. This link takes you to their information about marketing, business, and risk management. A knowledge and networking resource for farmers and potential farmers, educators, activists, and policy makers interested in small, diverse, locally-based, sustainable farming.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Resources: For Basic Bookkeeping, Budgeting, Tax Recordkeeping, other stuff. This is a blog with links to helpful resources used in presentations and other venues.

Cornell University’s Small Farm Program business management resource is helpful for planning and managing your business or visit their sister site for Beginning and Diversifying Farms.

Equity Trust: Helps small farmers across the country set up innovative ownership models for land and they have a revolving loan fund.

Farm Aid: Has a Farmer Resource Network which includes contacts for Financial Counseling and Referrals.

Farmers’ Legal Action Group: Provides disaster assistance resources. The USDA Risk Management Agency’s website designed to walk small to medium scale farmers or ranchers through every step of business and risk management planning. It will support farmers and ranchers who are starting a new business, managing or growing an existing business, or planning for succession.

Field to Table: works in New England and offers business planning, marketing, energy and other technical assistance to farmers (and others, particularly coops).

The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project: Has developed a plain language guide for applying to USDA Farm Service Agency Loans.

Small Business Development Centers: Are located around the country and provide business planning assistance to all types of small businesses. Their services are free or low cost. Even if an office does not have agricultural expertise, they can still be of assistance in helping to put your business plan and financials together.


The Carrot Project: In cooperation with our non-profit and lending partners offer loans in Massachusetts.

Franklin County Community Development Corporation: Provides small business planning assistance and operates the Food Processing Center for Western, MA.

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources: Offers two different agricultural business training programs for farms at different stages of development and technical assistance through the Farm Viability Program.

Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network: Connects you to small business development centers around Massachusetts which provide business planning assistance to all types of small businesses. Their services are free or low cost.

New England Small Farm Institute: Partners with the MA Department of Agriculture to offer a business planning course called Exploring Your Small Farm Dream.

The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project offers Farmer Business Training courses two times a year for ALL beginning farmers.

SEMAP (Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership) offers various business technical assistance resources and workshops for farmers in MA and RI.

National, State & Local Agricultural Organizations

Friday, December 17th, 2010

ATTRANational Sustainable Agriculture Information Service has lots of useful info on their web site, as well as an email newsletter that’s full of timely announcements and updates. Because of funding cuts, this organization has merged with NCAT (see below).

MDARMassachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources has a wealth of valuable resources for farmers, including sources of funding, training, and more. They have a bi-monthly e-newsletter, the Farm & Market Report. Click here to sign up.

NCAT Sustainable Agriculture ProjectThe National Center for Appropriate Technology is a private nonprofit organization which manages a series of projects that promote self-reliance and sustainable lifestyles through wise use of appropriate technology. Its programs deal with sustainable and renewable energy, energy conservation, resource-efficient housing, sustainable community development, and sustainable agriculture. Sustainable Agriculture Project – services are available to farmers, ranchers, market gardeners, Extension agents, researchers, educators, farm organizations, and others involved in agriculture, especially those who are economically disadvantaged or belong to traditionally underserved communities.

NESFI – New England Small Farm Institute’s web site maintains a collection of small farm information, learning tools and program services that are updated on a regular basis. Lots of good info for beginning farmers (10 years or less).

NOFA/MassThe Northeast Organic Farming Association is a community of farmers, gardeners, landscapers and consumers who provide education and information on local organic growing practices. They offer programs, workshops, conferences, organic certification and more. Sign up for their newsletter here.

SEMAPSoutheastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership is a community partnership working to support our regional farms. They offer an online directory of member farms, resources for farmers and are the engine behind the Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign on Cape Cod. To receive the SEMAP newsletter, click here. To receive the Buy Fresh, Buy Local newsletter, click here.

Publications for Farmers

Friday, December 17th, 2010

New Guide to Environmental Markets for Farmers and Ranchers from American Farmland Trust. This guide explains how producers can sell environmental services generated on their farms while continuing their normal farming operations. Download a copy here:  Guide to Environmental Markets for Farmers and Ranchers

NOFA 24th Annual Winter Conference

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Northeast Organic Farming Association’s 24th annual Winter Conference is scheduled for January 15, 2011. The conference will be held at Worcester Tech. High School in Worcester, MA. For more information and to register, visit their web site at