When she was ready to start her own farm, Renee Ciulla found, like most young farmers, access to land a challenge. Renee reports on innovative land arrangements she and 4 other Seacoast farmers—Maggie Donovan of Willow Pond Community Farm, Kate Donald of Stout Oak Farm, and Josh and Jean Jennings of Meadow’s Mirth—have made to grow food locally. From the Rodale Institute:
On borrowed land
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire estimate that only 6% of the New Hampshire (NH) food supply is being grown within the state. For those concerned about food security, this presents a blatantly red flag. However, access to land is one of the biggest challenges facing young farmers today, often dead-ending potential food producers before they even get started. Fortunately, New Hampshire is brimming with fallow land that only requires meeting a willing land owner. And consumer interest (especially along the seacoast) for local, organic food is burgeoning.
With all this in mind, I decided to fulfill both a personal dream and crucial need for more local food production by working with two seacoast landowners who have agreed to let me grow food on their property. But my process started long before seed went in the ground this past spring. My inspiration for making that final leap across the land access gap were several young farmers tirelessly working to meet the rising demand for New Hampshire-grown food on borrowed land. Read more…