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Town Administrator Jay Green and Selectwoman Christine Hoyt hold the ribbon to celebrate Full Well Farms thermal heat pump that will help it cut down on propane in its greenhouse.
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The new greenhouse uses the thermal mass of the soil below ground for heating and cooling.
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Currently, the greenhouse is growing spinach, radishes, hakurei turnips and kale.

Adams' Full Well Farm Celebrates 'Climate Battery' Greenhouse

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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Full Well opened on East Road in 2018.

ADAMS, Mass. — The town hosted a ribbon cutting for Full Well Farm on Halloweeen to celebrate the opening of its new "climate battery" greenhouse.


"We're super grateful to be farming in Adams and have the chance to celebrate with [the town]," said Meg Bantle, the farm's co-founder. 


Bantle and Laura Tupper-Palches founded the East Road farm in 2018 and currently manage three-quarters of an acre of permanent, no-till beds. The new greenhouse, which uses the thermal mass of the soil below ground for heating and cooling, was funded via grants and loans by the state, Berkshire Agricultural Ventures and the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service. 


"The greenhouse was a long time coming. We had been anticipating it for well over a year by the time we got the funding all together," Tupper-Palches said. " ... There was a lot of pieces that came together to make it happen. And now we'll be able to go produce year-round." 


The project, Bantle and Tupper-Palches explained, will allow the farm to use less propane in the winter when growing cool-weather crops like greens and kale. Currently, the greenhouse is growing spinach, radishes, hakurei turnips and kale. 


"The fans push air down through tubes that go under the ground, and the heat is stored in the ground under there, which is why it's called a climate battery; the storage battery is the ground," Tupper-Palches said. "And then when it's cold, we can draw the air back up as warm air."


Significant work, according to Bantle, went into creating the climate battery structure underneath the greenhouse. They don't anticipate needing to use propane until February, if not later. 


"We dug 8 feet down underneath the footprint of this structure," Bantle said. "So it's a big soil mass area that will be used in the cooler months to heat this, which will lower how much we have to rely on propane." 


Selectmen Vice Chair Christine Hoyt said the greenhouse is exciting for Adams and other groups that the farm services. Currently, the farm operates at the North Adams Farmers Market, the Indoor Winter Farmers Market and via its Community Supported Agriculture program. 


Town Administrator Jay Green thanked Bantle and Tupper-Palches for their work on the farm and the project. He reiterated that they and other businesses have the town's support.  


"I just want to highlight that there's so many unique opportunities in Adams that we don't know about," Green said prior to the ribbon cutting. "These are great opportunities to get to celebrate not just you, but what you add to Adams. These are great events because we go from small stores, small business; to something unique like this." 


Those interested in learning more about Full Well Farm can visit its website here.

Tags: agriculture,   farming,   

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Adams Community Bank Receives an Outstanding CRA Rating

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Adams Community Bank (ACB) announced they received a rating of "Outstanding" from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in their recently completed evaluation.
The bank was among four of 66 financial institutions evaluated to be rated the highest outstanding rating. 
The CRA is a law established to encourage insured depository institutions to help meet the local credit needs of the communities in which they are chartered, including low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound operations.
Bank President, Charles O'Brien, noted the Bank did well in all three facets of the CRA exam, including lending in, investing in, and service in their communities.
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