News

The New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts conducted a tour of the High Tunnels at the NH Hampshire Institute Institute on September 27, 2011.  The High Tunnels are located with the Food Bank Gardens on River Street in Manchester, NH.  Pictured left to right: Jerimia Vernon, NH International Institute; John Wells, Rimol Greehouse, George Hamilton, UNH Cooperative Extension and Chad Cochrane, Natural Resource Conservation Service.

 

Here Jerimia Vernon, NH International Institute, is discussing high tunnel growing with Manchester residents.  Discussions during the tour included reduction of pests, extended growing seasons, tillage radishes that reduce soil compaction, irrigation, disease control, tunnel orientation, soil drainage within the tunnel and outside, temperature control, how to manage snow loads,air circulation and soil health.  John Wells discussed greenhouse engineering and construction.

A Rimol Greenhouse can be constructed for $1 per square foot.  The greenhouses are used to grow vegetables directly in the ground.  The high tunnel is an economic method of extending the growing season of New Hampshire fields.

The next High Tunnel tour will be at White Mountain Regional HIgh School, Whitefield, NH October 5th at 6:00 PM.  The public is invited to learn how a High Tunnel can be utilized to increase food production at home or on a farm.

 

Sullivan County Conservation District Appoints District Manager

Newport, NH September 23, 2011 – The Sullivan County Conservation District Board of Directors announced that Lynn Brennan of Westminster, Vermont has been appointed as the new District Manager, replacing retiring Manager Janice Heighes who has served as District Manager for the past twenty-eight years.

Ms. Brennan brings to the District an extensive conservation background. Through her work for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and then the Orleans County (New York) Conservation District, she has gained a thorough knowledge of conservation practices and programs. Ms. Brennan has experience with grant writing and implementation, design and installation of Best Management Practices, and addressing a wide variety of landowner concerns.

With her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Resource and Forest Engineering, Ms. Brennan has a strong background in land surveying and technical design.

The new District Manager also comes with significant agricultural experience. In addition to being raised on a hog and beef cattle farm, she has since worked with a diverse range of agricultural ventures. Ms. Brennan has worked on both livestock and crop farms and has provided technical assistance to operations ranging from nine-acre organic farms to conventional farms working thousands of acres.

“I am eager to promote the Sullivan County Conservation District’s mission of providing assistance to residents with soil and water resource issues. I look forward to meeting the residents of Sullivan County and am open to hearing their concerns and ideas,” said Ms. Brennan. The Conservation District office is located at 24 Main Street in Newport, New Hampshire and Ms. Brennan can also be reached by phone at (603)863-4927 and via email at conservationdistrict@sullivancountynh.gov

“Ms. Brennan’s strong technical background, knowledge and experience with a conservation district in the State of New York will be a tremendous asset not only to the mission of Sullivan County Conservation District, but also to the landowners of Sullivan County in protecting and managing their natural resources. Her leadership will strengthen our capacity to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” said Chairman David Grobe.

 

HIgh Tunnel Tour at Paradice Regional Career and Technical Center, White Mountain Regional High School

WMRHS High Tunnel Tour Stephen Turaj, UNH Cooperative Extension and Michael Harrington, USDA Natural Resource and Conservation Service meeting with vegetable producers in the HIgh Tunnel at Paradice Regional Career and Technical Education Center in Whitefield

The discussion included how to operate a high tunnel.  Advantages of a high tunnel include, extended growing season, fewer insect and disease   problems, earlier to market vegetables and the increase in quality of high tunnel grown products.

 

New Hampshire Congressional Staff Farm Bill Tour

 

On November 7, 2011 the New Hampshire Fish and Game, Department of Agriculture and the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts conducted a tour of Farm Bill Projects in Durham and Lee, NH

The first stop was a view of the Cottontail Habitat restoration project on Bunker Hill Lane in Durham.  This is an area owned by NH Fish and Game and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.  The area is being set back to early successional growth to provide shelter and food for the New England Cottontail.  It is a demonstration area for landowners to learn how to establish habitats on their land.  The New England Cottontail Population is believed to be below 50 animals.

 

 

The second stop on the tour was at the Emery Farm.  Now the oldest family farm in the United States, Dave Hill, owner gave a tour of the farm and discussed the impact of easements and conservation practices on the farm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Locally produced food was on the menu from lunch provided by Blue Moon Evolution from Exeter, NH and Tuckaway Farm, Lee, NH.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorn Cox, Owner of Tuckaway Farm describes how the farm operates with little inputs from off farm sources.  Bio diesel, animal management and power, no-till and low till methods are employed on the farm to reduce energy and maintain soil health and fertility.  Tuckaway Farm is part of a three generational farm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Tunnels on the farm provided the salad for lunch and kept tomatoes in production until November.  Improvements in plant health and production yields were discussed.  High Tunnels were constructed with matching funds from NRCS as part of the Farm Bill Program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third generation of a portable biodiesel press designed and constructed on the farm. The first generation was a Farm Bill matching fund cooperation between NRCS and Tuckaway Farm.  The second and third generations were financed with income from the press.  One acre generates 100 gallons of fuel.  The residue is used as livestock feed.  The portable press and processing unit is capable of going to other farms to convert biomass into fuel to run a farm.  It is estimated that all NH farms could be operated on their own produced and processed  fuel.

 

 

 

 

This Windmill on the Tuckaway Farm pumps water to a cistern for cattle on rotational pastures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Old Mill Site and former Gravel Pit restored with Farm Bill Funds to protect the drinking water for Durham and enhance wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.