The Island Institute announces the recipients of the third round of Four-Season Island Agriculture Fund awards, a small-grant program made possible through the 1772 Foundation.

These awards are designed to support sustainable agricultural endeavors in Maine’s year-round island communities, and this year’s funding in the amount of $10,000 will support 12 farming and gardening projects. The fund’s three major focus areas are capital projects that increase the amount of locally produced food available on-island; professional-development opportunities for individuals and organizations to attend or lead workshops to gather and spread information about the practice and value of local sustainable agriculture; and small stipends to support on-island leadership for time devoted to managing food-related projects.

Since its launch in May 2009, the fund has supported 37 agricultural projects, totaling $30,000 in awards distributed to island communities along the coast. Receiving grants of $300 to $1,500 each, 2011 award recipients include:

Vinalhaven: Free-range Poultry Project for chicken-coop upgrades, fencing, and supplies; Vinalhaven School’s middle school raised bed project, including a stipend for summer management; Dean and Kate Stockman to assist with the purchase of a 20-foot by 48-foot greenhouse;

Islesboro: Islesboro Central School stipend for summer-market management; Cheryl Gaudiana-Erskine, in support of a new greenhouse;

Monhegan: To support the Island Farm Project with a stipend for leadership and purchase of supplies;

Chebeague Island: Green Lantern Garden Project to acquire farming implements and tools;

Cliff Island: Cliff Island School to send head-teacher Josh Halloway to attend aquaponics training at Herring Gut Learning Center;

Frenchboro: Lenfestey Farm Project, to increase island-based egg production and access by updating chicken coop; Ann Fernald, to increase garden production through season extension equipment;

Peaks Island: Peaks Island Community Garden’s purchase of a tool shed; Christina and Rusty Foster in support of season-extension equipment.

For more information about future programming to support island agriculture initiatives, please contact Annie Brown, island foodways manager, at 594-9209 ext. 130 or abrown@islandinstitute.org or visit islandinstitute.org/fourseasonislandagriculturefund