Solar Grows with Eastman’s Corner
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The Farm at Eastman’s Corner is a cornerstone of community
Back in the stagecoach days, the Eastman family of Kensington, NH had a crossroads tavern where locals and travelers mingled, enjoying the fruits of local life and good music. After the tavern was torn down in 1911, the site was used and re-used several times, before going vacant. This old farm and community site might have been redeveloped as just another strip mall, but Alan and Harriet Lewis envisioned something different: a farm store where community would gather together around local food and goods.
Opened in 2012, the farm stand has grown by leaps and bounds, and now offers a cornucopia of local goods from over 90 vendors, including fresh produce, honey, meats, wines and dry goods. At quick glance (early August) their market boasts fresh local tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, squash, strawberries, peaches, and corn… yum!
Making Local Power
Sustainability is a central tenet to The Farm at Eastman’s Corner, encompassing re-use/re-purposing of existing structures, efficiency improvements and an impressive amount of solar. ReVision Energy has worked with The Farm to install three different solar arrays – two roof mounted arrays (Food Barn and Farm Stand) and a series of trackers in a field – to support the energy use of this thriving community hub. We’ve installed nearly 100 kilowatts of solar now, which should produce over 118,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, offsetting nearly 200,000 driving miles of carbon pollution each year. The solar arrays were designed to offset nearly all electricity use on the campus, though they continue to expand so rapidly it’s tough to keep up!
In addition to the main farm store, there is also a “Food Barn” where farmers can offer up produce ‘seconds’ for use in value-add products, and a series of no fewer than six greenhouses that practice four season (yes, that includes winter!) agriculture.
The Farm’s vision is to be a model of sustainable communities. Obviously, buying loyal keeps money local, as well as greatly decreasing the inefficiency (and environmental cost) of transporting food. In addition to being a hub for all things local, the Farm pays forward deeply to the local economy. All profit and 5% of sales are donated to Kensington’s Sawyer Park.
We are honored to be among a group of strategic partners for The Farm’s sustainability efforts, which also includes UNH, Conservation Media Group, Conservation Law Foundation, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Society Forests, and Seacoast Growers Association.
Learn more about the The Farm’s ambitious goals for growing community at: http://eastmanscorner.com/