Barberry Hill Farm, Connecticut

Submitted by: Kingsley Goddard of Barberry Hill Farm in the Infrastructure category

Project Overview

As a small suburban family farm we are seeking a grant to enhance and preserve our production through installation of walk-in refrigeration. We have never applied for a grant before, but this year we were approached by our local school system food service to help supply them with food for the local schools. The school food service regulations require that we be GAP certified in order to supply produce to the school. After some amount of research and contact with the state department of agriculture, it has been identified that we need efficient cooling in order to achieve the objectives of certification.
Through the past several years we have been limited in our production due to inability to maintain harvest at cool temperature. Now with our demand increasing, we have been unable to meet the capacity which the fields can produce. Lacking the ability to chill vegetables, fruits and flowers after harvest, we are wasting product each day.
With refrigeration we would be able to store vegetables and fruit in an efficient manner, thereby conserving our resources and eliminating needless waste. The ability to preserve our harvest through large enough capacity refrigeration is essential to the viability of the farm as a sustainable entity. As an established working farm in the central Northeast corridor, this grant would greatly enhance the number of communities we would be able to serve with a superior product.
In summary, the addition of efficient refrigeration capacity is essential to the future growth and viability of one of the few remaining suburban farms in the Northeast.

Project Plan / Strategy

We have allocated space in the former cow stalls of our barn to accommodate a 10x12 walk-in cooler. Reconstruction and insulation will commence January 2017. We have already begun pricing new and used coolers located in New England. As the electrical configuration of our barn will not support the anticipated consumption of large scale refrigeration, we are in the process of entertaining quotes from electricians to upgrade the facility to a 200 Amp service. A concrete floor and drainage will be completed in March of 2017 and final assembly would follow in April. This would permit the facility to be fully functional by the beginning of the harvest season in May.

Project Budget

Concrete Floor and Drainage : $1200
Electrical Service Upgrade: $2200 est.#1, $1850 est.#2
10’x12’x7’6” Walk-in Cooler: $6250

Estimate Total: $9,450

Operation History

We are a fourth generation family farm located in southern Connecticut. Formerly a twenty-five acre sheep farm, we are now principally a vegetable, fruit and cut flower farm. Our family has worked hard to maintain a viable suburban farm serving over a hundred families in our CSA farm share, several farmers' markets, and a busy seasonal farm stand on Route 1.
The farm has followed organic practices since 1910. We have maintained our fields using leaves as a mulch and soil builder. Each Autumn we open our fields for homeowners and landscapers to compost their leaves, which has eliminated the need of a town leaf compost collection facility.
We have taught this technique to many other small farmers and all of our many interns acquired through WWOOF.Com. Our method of growing supports over fifty fruits and vegetables, and more than thirty varieties of cut flowers. As our method preserves moisture and enhances beneficial insects while building the soil, our land has become more than sustainable as we are able to share and sell the topsoil which has been created each season. For a greater understanding of all we offer, please visit our web site BarberryHillFarm.Com

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