Extreme weather is the new normal for farming in the Northeast.
In this USDA Climate Hub-funded video series produced by the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, hear how three successful organic farmers in Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire are adapting their farming practices to climate change. Each farmer discusses how they’re experiencing and adapting to climate change. They discuss how cropping strategies, water management, and soil protection practices have increased their resilience to climate impacts and helped them continue to farm successfully.
On Upinngil Farm in Massachusetts they're growing strawberries and grapes and grazing livestock, using grass-based milk sales to provide income stability. High tunnels have provided both season extension and climate control. Farmer Clifford Hatch says, "We are working to manage the risks of this resource in the best possible way."
Intervale Community Farm
In Vermont, at Intervale Community Farm farmers are using green manure and cover crops, and seeding density to build soil fertility and increase resiliency. In their 27 years of operation, they've learned to adapt to periodic floods from the Winooski River by careful decisions about where their short-rotation and long-season crops are placed. Farmer Andy Jones says that, even in the flood plain, "irrigation is critical."
Farmer, Pooh Sprague, of Edgewater Farm in New Hampshire has also come to rely on high tunnels and other strategies for protected growing of the farm's key crops. He notes the importance of practices that build the soil's health and resiliency. "Everything I do is to ameliorate the damage I do by tilling," he says.