Friends of Lachat

Grant Type: 

Grow Grant

Amount requested:


Primary Project Issue Area:



Weston, CT



Estimated median household income:


Population size:

10,179 people

Percentage of residents living below poverty level:


Percentage of residents considered ‘minority’:


Describe your group’s project in a few sentences:

We would like to use our grant money towards the development of our solar greenhouse as a resource for teaching our community. We will need to trench to enable water and electric hook-ups to the solar greenhouse. We will need to purchase: seeds and flood benches/growing tables; growing medium/soil; a gas heater for the colder months when the solar panel won't be enough to keep the greenhouse warm; circulation fan; large plastic containers for the growing materials such as potting soil and vermiculite; sprayers for moistening the plants; peat pots for transferring seedlings for their next growth spurt; and plastic pots for the final phases of growth. We will need hoses for watering and cleaning the greenhouse and hangers to utilize the air space above the tables for certain kinds of plants. We are also planning on creating flower gardens of all kinds for pick-your-own flowers during the season.

Describe how your program(s) create a resilient, healthy, safe and equitable regional food system through local food efforts:

Our intention is to develop a model facility providing sustainable food, resources, while committing to the highest ethical and mindful practices in our food system, energy consumption, land stewardship, and re-use and recycling. Currently, the Lachat Town Farm has 42 raised beds that form the Lachat Community Garden. We are also adding another 8 beds for the spring of 2016, which was just approved by the commission. The community gardeners pay for their plots seasonally for either a 4x7, 4x12 or 4x20 sized plots. The enjoyment of this pursuit can't really be measured but the smiles and comments are truly gratifying when these folks start picking their produce. As soon as we have a farmer/educator in our 1770 farmhouse/residence, we will also plant an educational garden that will include a small CSA providing food for the local food bank and social services. And, we are planning a children's educational garden as well. Produce from that will also go to local food pantries and the CSA. Our solar greenhouse will be used to start seedlings for all the food and flower gardens. We will extend our growing season with the greenhouse and provide micro greens in the winter months.

What (if anything) did the group spend during the last calendar year?:


How much money is needed in total to complete the full proposed project?:


Please break-down/categorize the total project costs:

$ AmountItemCovered by Grassroots Fund Grant?Type Of Expense


4-Flood Benches for planting in a 19'x24' greenhouse from Ag Grant




Double-door for greenhouse




4 Rain gutters for the 19' x 24 ' greenhouse




2 cedar slat benches for greenhouse




Water lines to greenhouse including trenching




Electric to Grreenhouse




Greenhouse accessories such as seedling trays, circulation fan, etc.




2- Wire mesh benches/growing tables



If your group receives a NEGEF Grow grant, how do you plan to pay for remaining expenses?:

$ AmountSource


Community Garden Plot Fees (2014 = $1865) (2015 = $3210)

Does the group have a (long-term) fundraising plan to bring in diverse sources of funding?:


Please summarize the group's long-term plan to raise funds:

In the near future we will be starting a capital campaign to finish all the buildings on the farm. That will require finding the right individual who knows a good many people within the community and who is a good fund-raiser. We will continue to raise money through grants. We have had two from the CT Trust for Historic Preservation, two from the Ct. Dept of Agriculture Viability Grants, one from the Weston Educational Fund and one from the Weston/Westport Kiwanis. Our summer program schedule will raise operating expense capital. Additional programs for adults and children will also continue to raise money. We have classes almost every weekend in the summer but those classes will now require a set fee. We also plan to have a membership to the farm. We also have funds raised from the Community Garden each year and that will increase due to adding more beds.