Regenerative Agriculture & AgroForestry

Dear Regenerative Agriculture & AgroForestry (RAAF – tentative new name) members,

The Goal
The intention here is to identify three to four projects, techniques, species and/or best practices for AgroForestry/Permaculture and Regenerative Agriculture that we will highlight at the Ecovation (Green Economy Innovation) Hub milestone #3 event on October 18th.

The List
Below is the list of possibilities that we came up with, along with a couple of additions thrown in in hindsight.  I have created links to as many of these items as I could.  For the five business cases that have been developed and presented to our group I have created Google docs for people to view/read.

  • Food Connects’ Food Hub, Windham Farm and Food, aggregates and delivers local food from 30 vendors to over 50 buyers in the Brattleboro and Keene areas.
  • Food Connects is piloting a Central New England Food Hub Network, which aims to increase wholesale local food sales in Central New England, roughly defined as within ~60 miles/ 1.5 hour driving time of Brattleboro, and includes a focus on Keene, Bennington, the Upper Valley and Pioneer Valley.
  • Agro/Eco-Tourism: one business case under development is Daniel Hartigan’s Farm Tours. Other ideas for this area are being contemplated by the RAAF Working Group and champions are being sought.
  • Intensive Rotational Grazing (livestock practice that builds topsoil and increases herd health).
  • Hazelnut & Chestnut Production (Daniel Hartigan’s business case) –  Establish demonstration plantings of neo-hybrid hazels and chestnuts with superior and native genetics.  Teach farmers and enthusiasts in the region how to develop the next generations of high-quality hazels and chestnuts.   Based on the work of Badgersett Research Farm in MN.
  • Shiitake & other mushroom and/or mycelium cultivation & services
  • Tools & Equipment Sales & Service (Alex Wilson’s idea: small-scale farm equipment appropriate to New England’s diversified small farms)
  • Wildlife Management Services (Alex’s business case for wildlife biodiversity enhancement and control of opportunistic species. This is on a Google Doc, feel free to comment)
  • Agriculture & Solar — dual use (Tatiana Schreiber)
  • Medicinal Forest Herbs (goldenseal, ginseng, etc.; business case from Michelle Connair)
  • Cannabis (Hempfully Green, Good Body Products)
  • Tapalou Guilds (permaculture farm in Guilford)
  • AgroForestry Services, including courses for landowners, foresters and entrepreneurs (business case: Tad Montgomery with Dave Jacke, Steve Gabriel, Jonathan Bates &/or others)
  • Super Fresh from the Field and Forest (online network to connect growers/wildcrafters with a broad market, business case – Tad Montgomery)

Note that there is an option to post comments on the poll.  We hope that people use this feature with somewhat reckless abandon, and read the comments before taking the poll.

When filling out the poll, consider the following goals and objectives of the green economy Ecovation Hub and our Regenerative Agriculture & Agroforestry Working Group:

Mission of the RAAF
The Regenerative Agriculture and AgroForestry Working Group of the Ecovation (Green Economy Innovation) Hub brings people and organizations together to create economic value from our region’s fields, farms and forests in ways that enhance long-term ecological health and can be an inspiration to others.

Broader Goals and Objectives: Ecovation Hub  

  • The EH has a goal of 40% of the region’s food consumption being grown within the region.
  • The EH has a core value of “building holistic development of talent, resources, knowledge and impact.”
  • The EH has a goal of increasing worker (farmer, landowner) wages (income) by ≥$5,000/yr.
  • Another EH Core Value is “demonstrate and inspire innovation in advancing sustainability and resilience.”

Ecovation Hub Vision
Become a recognized national leader in creating resilient, sustainable buildings and communities

Ecovation Hub Mission
To build a hub of sustainability and resilience that acts as an incubator, accelerator, and engine of economic growth in balance with our resources

Please take this survey to help us select which effort to highlight before Wednesday, October 12th. We are using this poll to asses which of these projects hold the most potential for generating jobs and economic opportunity in the region of Cheshire, Franklin, Windham and Bennington Counties.

Many thanks,

The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation’s Ecovation Hub is funded by the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Authority and the Windham County Economic Development Program.  It is a key project from the 2014 Windham Region’s long range comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS).

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