GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.— Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) awarded Gould Farm a Resilience grant of $5,000 to complete construction of a new hoop house that will enable the farm to extend their growing season.
This grant was awarded in conjunction with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resource Conservation Services (USDA-NRCS).
“BAV recognizes the importance of helping farms implement adaptive growing strategies, like hoop houses, to address the increasing challenges Berkshire farmers face due to climate change. Recent growing seasons provide multiple examples of increased extreme weather patterns that increase risks to Berkshire farmers,” said Ben Crockett, BAV’s program manager who focuses on Climate Smart Agriculture.
Gould Farm will use this hoop house (also known as a “high tunnel system”) to cover and protect crops from sun, wind, excessive rainfall, frost, and increase Spring and Fall crop production in an environmentally safe manner.
“Farmers in our region will continue to see dramatic fluctuations in weather patterns for the foreseeable future” said Crockett, “and supporting Gould Farm in completing this hoop house is part of BAV’s effort to improve local farm resilience to extreme weather events and ensure farms keep farming.”
Gould Farm produces crops as part of their mental health programming, where clients grow, cook and consume vegetables from the farm. During the growing season Gould Farm also supplies the Multicultural BRIDGE Food Pantry.
With the hoop house addition, Gould Farm will be able to increase the amount and availability of fresh produce for the farm and pantry.
“Our program participants are hard at work building the hoop house,” said Executive Director, Lisanne Finston. “And look forward to being able to spend more time doing what they love…growing and sharing fresh food for the community.”
Gould Farm is aa 700-acre working farm whose mission is to promote recovery for people living with mental health and related challenges through meaningful work, community living, and clinical care.
Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) is a nonprofit organization working to support the development and viability of local farms and food businesses throughout the Berkshire-Taconic Region (Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut), to build a thriving local food economy and improve access to food .