Charlotte’s Nordic Farm will showcase Vermont-led innovations in sustainability
Vermont Business Magazine As one of the most iconic barns and farms along the Route 7 corridor, Charlotte’s Nordic Farm is set to realize the future of Vermont agriculture as a multifaceted working landscape. While the dairy industry continues to undergo consolidation, Nordic Farm is focusing on finding new ways for sustainable agriculture to continue on its lands — proven to be vital for both local communities and the natural environment.
Will Raap, Nordic Farm CEO
This project, led by the founder of Gardener's Supply and the Intervale Center Will Raap, will become the largest regenerative agricultural ‘carbon negative farm’ and business development center for grains, botanicals, local food, and agritourism in Vermont.
“From timber, to sheep, to grain, to cows, to value-added dairy, to local organic food Vermont’s working landscape constantly evolves,” says Will Raap, CEO of the new Nordic Farm. “We hope Nordic Farm can continue to support that evolution with growing and value-added processing of grain and botanicals plus harvesting renewable energy, incubating new model businesses and regenerating our soils and ecosystems.”
The Nordic project will include:
- Vermont Regenerative Agricultural Center, a new 501c3 non-profit advocacy and networking organization that will focus on promoting healthier working landscapes and regenerative farming practices. It will serve as a welcome center selling local farm products as well as an education center hosting the Cyrus Pringle museum;
- The Vermont Grain Cooperative, made up of seven businesses operating cooperatively to help build Vermont’s new grain industry; implementing innovative practices in soil regeneration, planting, growing, malting, brewing, distilling multiple grain varieties.
- The Vermont Botanical Commons, consisting of multiple ventures that will support business incubation, development, and R&D for the botanical industry including growing and processing hops, hemp, botanicals and mushrooms;
- The Farm Energy Innovation Center, which will aim to combine the latest technologies in renewable energy generation, storage, grid optimization and carbon sequestration; the goal is to be Vermont’s largest ‘carbon negative farm’ while showcasing reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and increased carbon sequestration.
- and public access walking and Nordic ski trails, picnic and bird watching areas, and a seasonal farmers market.
Over the past two years, Nordic Farm transitioned from a dairy to become home to multiple agri-related businesses like Sweet Sound Aquaculture, Slowfire Bakery, Foam Brewers’ House of Fermentology barrel aging, and a new regional malthouse. These businesses will continue in the new project, and will be joined by WhistlePig Whiskey, Nitty Gritty Grain Company, Kria Botanicals, Shrubbly sparkling shrubs, and Vermont Compost Company.
“We are excited to be part of continuing the development of sustainable agriculture in Vermont,” says Jeff Kozak, CEO of WhistlePig. “We currently use our own grain, water, and timber to produce triple terroir whiskey on our own 500-acre farm in Shoreham, Vt. We believe the new Nordic farm will give us a chance to tell this story to more people and share how, through regenerative farming, malting and barrel aging on site, we can push the boundaries of what American whiskey can be.”
WhistlePig Whiskey is currently in discussions with Nordic Farm on multiple initiatives including the cultivation of heritage grain varieties and implementing a complete ‘single-malt’ supply chain that would include malting, distilling and tasting on site.
Green Mountain Power is providing expertise to help Nordic Farm demonstrate how working farms can be critical to the fight against climate change; by expanding renewable energy generation, utilizing on-site storage, capturing excess carbon and sequestering it, while generating much needed new revenue streams.
The Nordic Farm spans 583 acres and is part of a large envelope of what Raap hopes will become 5,000 acres of conserved healthy working landscapes spanning from Philo Ridge Farm to Shelburne Farms.
More details on the Nordic 3.0 project are available soon. To stay up to date on the project, visit www.nordicfarmvt.org
Source: Charlotte, Vt. (June 9, 2021) — www.nordicfarmvt.org