Clarifying farm initiative

To the editor:

Regarding the Hancock Public Schools farm initiative, there are several details I would like to clarify.

We plan to start small and slow and build community support and infrastructure to run a fiscally and environmentally sustainable project.

The year 1 plan is to construct high tunnels to winter harvest salad greens for the school and Portage Health.

The district has a lot of room to grow food for the school and partner organizations but not “all the food for the school,” as stated in a Daily Mining Gazette article.

Regarding the figure of $12,000-$20,000 in revenue from high tunnels, I clearly stated only if all green house costs, seed, labor, and depreciation is covered by external grants. The high tunnels could see $4,000-$6,000 in net profits.

Additional vegetables could be grown on the school grounds, then stored in a root cellar for consumption during the winter months.

One grant was received to help plan the project. One grant was received to help with green house construction. One grant was submitted and pending. The project will move forward on a small scale at this point. I am currently writing for a $100,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School grant for additional funding.

This project is very exciting and has a lot of support behind it. I would like to be sincere in its intentions and clear in its vision. This project belongs to the students and community.

Brian Rajdl