One of our key programs provides local farmers with hands-on educational workshops about growing oilseed crops using innovative sustainable agriculture methods. The oilseed crops, like sunflowers, soybeans and canola, create sustainable feedstock for making local biodiesel and also create protein-rich food for local livestock. The Oilseed Initiative will culminate in a closed circle of sustainable agriculture: Sustainably growing the feedstock to make sustainably produced biofuel for operating the vehicles that are used to sustainably grow the feedstock.
GREAT BAY GRAIN COOPERATIVE
The GBGC was formed in 2008 by a group of 5 farmers interested in growing grain in the Seacoast area. With guidance from Green Start and the Cooperative Extension it has grown to more than 10 farms cooperating and sharing knowledge to build productive grain oilseed and livestock systems focused on direct sales to local markets....
SOIL HEALTH INITIATIVE
Green Start started the Soil Health Initiative in 2010 with a goal of providing sustainable soil management and related applied research in collaboration with government entities, academic institutions and businesses. Potential collaborators include the Natural Resources Conservation Services of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cornell University, the University of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, and others. The Soil Health Initiative will provide a regional resource for regional practitioners. In the short term, the Soil Health Initiative may: refine and recalibrate overall nutrient recommendations for field, forage and vegetable crops, coordinate with soil scientists in the region to recommend best practices for soil testing, develop a New Hampshire soil health database accessible to relevant collaborators, provide training workshops across the region, survey and enable coordination of current long-term research trials. GreenStart is currently expanding this initiative and developing comprehensive soil health management plans for eighteen cooperating farms in four counties.
EQUIPMENT SHARING INITIATIVE
Green Start works extensively with County Conservation Districts around New Hampshire to make appropriate equipment available at a reasonable cost to improve soil health and reduce on-farm energy use. This equipment includes but is not limited to woodash spreaders, no-till drills, aerators, no-till planters, roller crimpers, and soil testing equipment. This initiative builds upon a generous gift from the Paul W. Kimball Revocable Trust to Green Start of state-of-the-art farm equipment for use in sustainable agriculture. GreenStart continues to find appropriate technology from around the world to make it available to NH farms in partnership with other organizations to provide on-farm demonstrations and hands-on workshops.