Berkshire Agricultural Ventures Announces Two New Grants
A $3,020 matching grant to Shaker Creek Farm located in Stephentown, NY will expand the farm’s pasture-raised poultry enterprise.
Specifically, this grant will help provide up to 3,000 chicks, staggered batches of 500 at a time, who will be raised on pasture land with local grain, organic, soy-free grain feed. This grant also allows farm owners, Alison Basdekis and Keegan Schelling to purchase and build five new chicken tractors, which allows a chicken flock to move around their pasture, constantly having fresh vegetation and allowing used sections to be fertilized by chicken waste.
Alison Basdekis, Co-Owner of Shaker Creek Farm said
"Like BAV, we believe in the possibility of regional food systems for a healthier and more just society. BAV's investments in small operations like ours have allowed us to scale to a level that can meet more demand, and give us the chance to make our enterprise viable. Without this support, we wouldn't have been able to build infrastructure that has allowed us to make the leap to farm full time."
Shaker Creek Farm will be offering fresh and frozen pasteurized whole chickens by order or at the New Lebanon Farmers Markets, Hudson Valley Farmers Markets, and Random Harvest Market. For more information, please visit Shaker Creek Farm at https://www.shakercreekfarm.com
BAV also announces a $5,000 matching grant to Smoke & Honey Co., a socially and environmentally conscientious beekeeping and farm-based business located in the Berkshires and the Hudson Valley. The grant advances educational programming by providing free hives, bees, and beekeeping lessons to aspiring beekeepers of color in the Berkshires and the Hudson Valley.
Curtis Mraz, owner of Smoke & Honey Co. said
“As a fourth-generation beekeeper in a field largely dominated by older white men, I recognize my role as a gatekeeper to agricultural resources and knowledge. With our recent grant from BAV, we have been able to leverage some of this privilege to help teach and empower a diverse next generation of beekeepers. Like us, BAV also understands that our food systems are dependent on these crucial pollinators and that we can’t have bees without another generation of well-trained beekeepers.”
About Shaker Creek: Shaker Creek Farm is located between the Berkshire hills and the Hudson Valley, in Stephentown, NY on land that was historically stewarded by the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Nation. They are establishing a regionally adapted, regenerative agroforestry system utilizing apples, chestnuts, hazelnuts, berries, and pasture-raised animals as well as many other perennial crops and draw from research and practice from myriad pre-industrial agricultural traditions. Their goal is to provide delicious, nutrient-dense foods while enhancing the fertility, diversity, and resiliency of the ecosystem. Organically grown vegetables will continue to be a part of the system as well. For more information on their services, please visit https://www.shakercreekfarm.com
About Smoke & Honey Co: Smoke & Honey Co. is a socially and environmentally conscientious beekeeping business rooted in the Berkshires and the Hudson Valley that focuses at the intersection of honey production, education, art, and activism. Steeped in four generations of Vermont beekeeping practice, we produce raw honey, maple syrup, and vegetables. At Smoke & Honey Co., we seek to tell the story behind each spoonful—teaching the “what”, the “where”, and the “why”. For more information visit https://smokeandhoney.co/
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