Berkshire Agricultural Ventures Plants the Seeds for Local Agroforestry

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Great Barrington, Mass —Berkshire Agricultural Ventures’ (BAV) announces its first agroforestry grant to Adamah Farm located in Falls Village, Connecticut. This grant is a first step in promoting and funding agroforestry practices, or the intentional integration of trees onto farms, in Northwest Connecticut, Berkshire County Massachusetts, and Dutchess and Columbia counties, New York. A priority area for BAV, agroforestry is a way to grow food while yielding environmental conservation benefits like water and air quality, habitat, soil health, and more.

Adamah Farm operates a 3-acre organic vegetable operation with a sliding scale CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model, a food access project, goats, chickens, herbs, fruit, and an 18-year fellowship program that teaches regenerative ways of living with the land in the context of an intentional Jewish spiritual community. 

The BAV grant will assist Adamah in transforming a 25-acre parcel of sloping grass into a food-producing orchard centered around Chinese chestnuts, a blight-resistant variety of chestnut increasingly popular in the Midwest and Northeast region due to its demand and productivity as a tree crop.

“This project will help us in our educational mission to highlight the importance of long-term thinking about land and food systems with a focus on regenerative solutions,” shares Adamah Farm Manager Janna Siller. “The trees will offer us an opportunity to talk about perennial agriculture, carbon sequestration, plant-based regional diets, investing in the future in a time of uncertainty, resilient land designs, and honoring indigenous foodways.” 

“We have found a great partner in Adamah,” shares Mark Phillips, Program Coordinator at BAV. “Agroforestry is widely practiced throughout the world but is less common in North America despite its potential for producing food in a way that regenerates soil and ecosystems. It is our hope that Adamah Farm’s orchard will serve as an example and inspiration for the adoption of agroforestry in the Berkshire-Taconic region in the decades to come.”

Adamah plans to host public planting parties and tours in April of this year, as well as a farmer-focused agroforestry workshop in June with Connecticut Resource Conservation and Development, USDA, NOFA Mass, and the Regenerative Design Group. 

Over the past four years, BAV has given over 100 low-interest loans (0-2%) and/or grants to farmers and food businesses. “Our goals are to grow the local food economy by partnering with farmers and producers of all types.  We see agroforestry as a way to stack enterprises on the same land, reduce soil erosion, and also to increase carbon sequestration,” said Dan Carr, the Outreach & Technical Assistance Coordinator at BAV. 

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV) is a 501(c)3 IRS tax-exempt, nonprofit based in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. BAV’s mission is dedicated to supporting farm and food business development and viability by offering access to technical assistance and nimble financing including low-interest loans, grants, and other professional resources. BAV brings together collaborative financing programs for farmers and food makers in the region of New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut by using donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses.  

For more information about BAV please visit www.berkshireagventures.org or call Glenn Bergman, Interim Director, at 413.645.3594.