By Linda Cicoira
Seafield Farm, of Cape Charles, was selected, along with 14 other small, independent farms, to be honored for its environmental sustainability projects. The top picks will share in a total of more than $51,000 in The FruitGuys Community Fund grants.
Hundreds of farms across the nation vied for this year’s honors. The 2020 grantee farms, ranging in size from one acre to 120 acres in 14 states, will use the funding for projects that help conserve water, increase soil health, strengthen natural pest control, extend growing seasons, reduce carbon footprints, bring healthy produce to food deserts, and teach community members how to farm.
The Fund changed its dispersal times in response to the pandemic crisis and gave the full monetary award in one installment, instead of two.
“We are humbled to continue to provide this critical funding and grateful that none of the selected farms foresaw any additional challenges to completing their sustainability projects this year due to the effects of COVID-19,” said FruitGuys founder, CEO, and fund director, Chris Mittelstaedt.
Of the 2020 grantees, 80 percent are women and/or persons of color-owned or managed. Fourteen are actively increasing food access for low-income communities.
According to Seafield’s website, the farm is owned by a couple that grew up in the Hampton Roads area and moved to the Shore in 2016, to raise their two sons after living in Chicago for eight years. Their crops are grown without the use of sprays or chemicals.