Crystal Spring Farm Community Solar Project
For the [over] 25 years BTLT has owned and managed Crystal Spring Farm, a 331-acre property dynamic in its agricultural impact, community programs, recreational opportunities, and ecological value. As BTLT staff and resources have grown, so has our capacity to manage the many aspects of this incredible property…
Capacity: 78.65 Kilowatts (KW), 286 photovoltaic solar panels, 275 watts/panel
Host: Crystal Spring Farm, with concurrence of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (landowner).
Participants: Crystal Spring Farm plus seven other Brunswick families without access to solar electricity where they live.
Conservation Ranching: Empowering consumers to make a difference in grassland conservation
“Grassland birds have suffered an unparalleled decline over the past half century, stemming from widespread development of North America’s grasslands. This calls for Audubon’s action. To combat the negative effects of grassland degradations—and to keep grass on the landscape—Audubon has developed the Conservation Ranching Initiative. This market-based conservation approach offers incentives for good grassland stewardship through a certification label on beef products. For the first time, consumers can contribute to grassland conservation efforts by selectively purchasing beef from Audubon-certified farms and ranches…”
Largest market-based regenerative grasslands partnership in the U.S.
Panorama Organic Grass-Fed Meats to certify one million acres of wildlife habitat with the National Audubon’s Conservation Ranching Initiative.
The Audubon Conservation Ranching Initiative seeks to enhance the stewardship of grasslands for the benefit of birds. Birds have suffered significant decline over the past 50 years due to loss of U.S. grasslands to widespread development.
This initiative empowers consumers to support programs that restore bird populations via conservation practices by selectively purchasing beef nationwide from Audubon-certified farms and ranches, including Panorama Organic and other participating brands. The Audubon certification seal carries broad market appeal among consumers who care about the environment.
Agrivoltaics works better with leafy greens, root crops
[Solar] projects linked to agriculture have thus far shown the highest potential when combined with leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach, as well as with root crops such as potatoes, radishes, beets, and carrots. This is one of the conclusions of recent research developed on agrivoltaics by U.S. scientist Chad Higgins from the Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering at Oregon State University…
New problems arise for crop storage as planet gets warmer
“There’s a big disconnect in our minds about the chain of events between the field and the grocery store and onto our plate,” [plant physiology scientist Courtney Leisner at Auburn University] said. “Just a few degrees can make all the difference in whether it’s economical to store the fruits and vegetables that we expect to have on our dinner table 365 days a year.”
Aside from potentially higher prices, climate change may worsen food shortages caused by spoilage. About 14% of food produced globally—and 20% of fruits and vegetables—goes bad between harvest and retail, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Wasted food is a significant source of greenhouse gases…
Solar siting on farmland: lessons learned from across the northeast
Are you interested in how farmland viability and solar can work together? Would you like to be able to share examples of projects that improve soil health, farm diversity, and stem the loss of farmland? You might be interested in watching American Farmland Trust Northeast’s recent webinar focusing on Connecticut policy opportunities and the various policies in the northeast.
Across the country farmland is being lost at an alarming rate: 2,000 acres of agricultural land are converted every day. With the push to transition off fossil fuels, solar development could take more out of production. But it doesn’t have to be that way. States could invest in elevated, compatible solar that could help farmers and ranchers stay in business and keep the land in production.
See what your region can glean from this webinar. There’s a window to lead on this.
Kilby Farm protected by a conservation easement proactively addresses climate change
As a conservation organization, Cecil Land Trust takes the threats, challenges, and opportunities presented by climate change seriously. Educating the community about climate change means a better response more quickly for our community.
The Kilby Farm methane digester converts greenhouse gas methane, produced from cow waste and organic products, to green energy to run the farm…
A new vision for farming: chickens, sheep, and…solar panels
Agrivoltaics doesn’t just include chickens. Other livestock can also roam around solar panels, and some researchers are experimenting with planting crops, too.
Animals that graze around solar fields offer several benefits, proponents of agrivoltaics say. Not only does their manure enrich the soil, their munching keeps plants from growing too tall and shading the panels. Another win: they lower vegetation maintenance costs, reducing the need for lawn mowers or landscapers…
Maine farmers struggle with new, harsher climate reality
Tom Drew thought he’d seen it all. A dairy farmer of 30 years in Woodland, Maine, Drew has weathered an awful lot of change. On an overcast, chilly day last fall, he rested in his milking parlor.
As he leaned his large frame on the metal table, he recounted the history of the farm, his family’s attachment to the old jack pines out front. Like many small and medium-scale dairy farmers, remaining profitable is a challenge for Drew, and every day feels uncertain…
Innovative bill would promote regenerative ranching in California
The program would encourage regenerative agricultural practices similar to those promoted by Audubon’s Conservation Ranching initiative (ACR). The program partners with ranchers to adopt techniques including rotation of pastureland and limited use of feeds other than grass itself. The practices allow a variety of native grasses, with their extensive root systems (a potent carbon sink), to grow and thrive by allowing grasslands to rest and recover.
That, in turn, provides habitat for imperiled grassland birds, whose numbers have declined by 50 percent over the past 100 years. In return, ranchers participating in ACR can brand their meat with Audubon’s “Grazed on bird-friendly land” seal, earning up to $2 per pound more for their premium, grass-fed products…