The Island Institute is pleased to announce those who have received awards through the Four-Season Island Agriculture Fund. The fund was launched in May 2009, so this was the first year of grants.

Awards have been made to support 12 island farming and gardening programs, for a total of $10,000. The fund seeks to support farming/gardening projects that contribute towards increasing the amount of locally produced food, and/or raising awareness about island-based agricultural efforts and heritage.

Funding categories included capital-improvement projects designed to support the purchase of infrastructure to increase the amount of locally food produced and/or extend growing season capabilities; and professional development projects to provide educational outreach and technical assistance training to gather and spread information about the practice and value of local sustainable agriculture.

Award recipients are each receiving between $400 to $1,500. The list of award winners follows.

Peaks Island: The Peaks Environmental Action Team to support the Peaks Island Community Garden.

Great Diamond Island: Great Diamond Island Community Garden to extend the growing season through the purchase of cold frames.

Long Island: Long Island Community Garden to encourage a community-composting program.

Vinalhaven: Peaceful Harbor Farm for infrastructure to increase capacity for local CSA shares; Riverwind Farm for greenhouse improvements for seedling production and extending the growing season; Breakers Farm to support historical barn renovation for sheep-raising; and Reach Farm to support the purchase of a greenhouse for increased growing capacity and length of season.

North Haven: North Haven Community School to support a greenhouse purchase to incorporate local agriculture into place-based educational initiatives; North Haven Community Garden for fence infrastructure and soil amendments to initiate the garden’s growing season.

Islesboro: Islesboro Central School for infrastructure to support the farmer’s market which sells produce generated from the school’s horticulture program; Islesboro Islands Trust to support greenhouse improvements and community outreach efforts to extend the growing season and increase community awareness of four-season gardening practices.

Cranberry Isles: Islesford Buying Club for farmstand infrastructure and public outreach workshops to increase community awareness of their local food systems initiative.

The Island Institute’s Four-Season Island Agriculture Fund was made possible through a generous grant from the 1772 Foundation.  For more information about future programming to support island agriculture initiatives please visit

Shey Conover is senior programs director at the Island Institute.