The Grains Project

The Grains Program aims to revitalize local agriculture in New Jersey’s Highlands region by promoting regenerative practices and value-added grain production. Currently, many farms in the area rely on conventional methods that degrade soil and harm the environment with the indiscriminate use of harmful chemical-based fertilizers and pesticides. The initiative seeks to change this by advocating for sustainable agriculture that benefits both farmers and the ecosystem.

Powered by a three-year grant from the New Jersey Highlands Council Sustainable Agriculture Program, our sights are set on strengthening the local food economy through growing earth-friendly, high-value small grains. Today, there are markets for a diverse array of crops, including modern and ancient/ heirloom wheat, einkorn, spelt, emmer, rye, hulless-oats, barley, amaranth, buckwheat, and flax. Additionally, value-added grain production offers opportunities for diversification and resilience, especially for small-scale farmers with limited land.

Through partnerships with organizations like River Valley Community Grains, Marksboro Mills and The Organic Growers’ Research and Information-Sharing Network (OGRIN), and fellow farmers, bakers, and chefs, the program will provide training, resources, and support to farmers interested in transitioning to regenerative grain production. By providing the know-how for growing grains, training, and training material, hand-holding for the lifecycle of the grain growing, equipment, and markets, the initiative aims to increase the number of farmers growing value-added crops and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable and vibrant local grain economy in the Highlands region.