Greene County group receives farm to demonstrate sustainable farming

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WAYNESBURG, Pa. – A Greene County group received a 66-acre farm to implement a 10-year agricultural demonstration project.

CONSOL Energy, through its subsidiary CNX Land Resources, is leasing the land to Sustaining Greene County for $1.

The property is the former Hoskins farm in the Rudolph Run watershed in Wayne Township. It was undermined by CONSOL’s Blacksville 1 Mine in 1982.

Demonstration farm. Long range planning for the site includes development of a sustainable forestry demonstration project, free range poultry production, and multi-species rotational grazing.

The group plans to call the location, Tally Hollow Farm.

The site will also feature an outdoor classroom, spotlighting examples of agricultural and forestry best management practices, as well as small scale crop production.

First in county. According to Sustaining Greene County co-founder Kevin Paul, the project is the first of its kind in Greene County.

“This is the only long-term, regional program showcasing sustainable agriculture and forestry BMPs, woodlot management planning, rotational grazing of livestock, and a free range poultry project,” he said.

Paul said any interested party will be able to view different methods of forest and farm management techniques that can be applied to local farms and woodlots.

Paul added that the group’s mission is to promote economic development in Greene County by working with farmers, residents, industry, and local governing bodies to build a vision of sustainability.

According to Paul, the project was supported by state Senator J. Barry Stout, Rep. H. William DeWeese, and Greene County Commissioner Scott Blair, as well as numerous state and local groups and agencies.

Forestry efforts first. Phase I of the project will start as a consulting forester inventories tree species on the site.

Cleanup and demolition of unusable outbuildings will also begin, with emphasis placed on re-use of much of the lumber.

Work on the outdoor classroom is expected to begin soon.

Phase II will include free range poultry production and installation of a rotational grazing system complete. The grazing system will include an improved stream crossing and livestock watering system.

Funding. To date Sustaining Greene County has raised nearly $58,000 in grants, which includes $46,887 from the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection, $10,000 from USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), and $995 from the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts.

The group hopes to supplement resources thorough additional grants or donations by individuals, volunteers, and donations of hand tools and farm equipment.

To learn more about Sustaining Greene County, Tally Hollow Farm, or to make a tax-deductible donation write to Sustaining Greene County, P.O. Box 504, Waynesburg, PA 15370; or by e-mail at sustaininggreenecounty@yahoo.com.

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