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New Hampshire farms get grants to prepare for climate change

Emily Corwin

As climate change makes New Hampshire hotter, wetter, and more prone to short-term drought, farmers across the state are finding ways to prepare – and minimize their impact on the changing climate.

Twelve New Hampshire farms have received grants from the state’s 10 Conservation Districts to help make their operations more resilient to climate change.

The Conservation Districts are distributing $50,000 to local farmers who are reducing their farm’s greenhouse gas emissions, or preparing their farm to survive challenges like extreme weather and increased pests.

One grant recipient is Winter Street Farm in Claremont. They use climate-friendly practices like reduced tillage – disturbing the soil less to improve its quality. That can also reduce the amount of fertilizer needed, and keep carbon inside of the soil, instead of releasing it into the atmosphere.

Winter Street Farm co-owner Abby Clarke said heavy rain and increased drought are threats to her operations, but climate-smart methods help keep the farm insulated from those challenges.

“It’s just making sure that we're prepared to farm smarter with a more difficult future,” she said.

Winter Street will use the grant to support their community composting program, which allows community members to drop off their food scraps.

“That's in an effort to both increase the sustainability of our entire area that has access to a composting service, but also so that we can make the fertilizer input locally, instead of having it shipped from off-farm,” Clarke said.

Other projects funded by the grants include an effort at Tellman Hill Farm in Whitefield to enhance their irrigation water supply, updates to drainage systems at Meristem Flower Farm in Strafford, and the purchase of equipment to reduce soil tillage at Picadilly Farm in Winchester.

Those interested in applying for the next round of grants can look for an announcement next month, according to the Conservation Districts.

Mara Hoplamazian reports on climate change, energy, and the environment for NHPR.

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