Good Farm Fund, a fiscally sponsored project of North Coast Opportunities, awarded eight grants to Mendocino and Lake County farms for fire readiness and resilience. With generous funding from Redwood Credit Union’s Community Fund and California Fire Foundation, the fire-safe grants will provide critical equipment and infrastructure supplies to small farms.
The grants illustrate that a relatively small amount of financial support can go a long way in assisting small farmers to find success in fire-prone areas. Averaging under $5,000 each, the grants will be used to purchase items such as water storage tanks, generators, chain saws, solar chargers, and portable fencing.
“With hotter, drier, and longer fire seasons, small farms in Northern California must undertake measures to improve wildfire readiness,” said Caroline Radice, Good Farm Fund Project Coordinator. “These grants will help local farms stay viable as weather patterns shift, and will also improve overall farm efficiency,”
Farms receiving grants are Cerro Negro Farm, Coming Home to Country Farm, Folk Life Farm, Headwaters Grazing, Inland Ranch Organics, Irene’s Garden, Rancho Mariposa & Cinnamon Bear Farm, and Wavelength Farm. The grants were evaluated in coordination with the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council.
“We are very fortunate to have the support of Redwood Credit Union and California Fire Foundation,” added Radice. “Both organizations have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to local agriculture.”
“The focus of Redwood Credit Union and the RCU Community Fund has long included the provision of meaningful support and immediate relief for our communities after natural disasters,” said Matt Martin, Senior Vice President of Community and Government Relations at RCU. “The funding we’re supplying here helps proactively take that commitment to the next level—planning ahead to help prepare for these types of challenging times. And we’re honored to be able to help in this way.”
Jeannie Elizabeth Kelly of Coming Home to Country Farm in Clearlake will use the grant to replace fencing destroyed during the Sulphur Bank Fire in 2017 and remove burned trees that are falling on existing fencing.
“Two years after the Sulphur Bank Fire burned through my property, I was still struggling to get my head above water when the COVID-19 pandemic hit,” shared Kelly. “Had it not been for the Good Farm Fund grant to provide the big boost I needed, I don't know how my farm would have survived.”
Good Farm Fund is a fiscally sponsored project of North Coast Opportunities that aims to provide direct support to small farmers and increase local food security for underserved members of our community. To find out more or sign up for alerts about upcoming farm-to-table events or farm grants visit the website at www.goodfarmfund.org.
Pictured: Grantee Jeannie Elizabeth Kelly of Coming Home to Country Farm in Clearlake will use the grant to replace fencing destroyed during the Sulphur Bank Fire and remove burned trees that are falling on existing fencing.