The Sicklers grow a wide range of fruits, vegetables and ornamental flowers, raise chickens for egg production, and maintain an animal menagerie for farm tours. They sell plants and produce to a range of customers—local farmers markets, CSAs (community supported agriculture) and local grocery stores.

Role of NCIF

To ensure consistency for their customers and extend their growing season, the Sicklers use high tunnel greenhouses during the fall and winter months, supplementing the sun’s heat as needed. When their source of propane dried up, they turned to NCIF for help converting to an efficient, renewable source of energy, a new low-emissions wood-fired boiler.  We helped them qualify for a USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant to cover 25 percent of the cost of the boiler and provided a loan for the rest. The farm will be able to source the boiler fuel locally and inexpensively. 


Why This Project Matters

Producing food can require lots of energy, which can negatively affect the environment and raise costs in a low margin enterprise. Businesses like Sickler Farm who are committed to being good stewards of natural resources – land, water and energy—are vital to strong local food systems and make their local communities more resilient.  Securing a renewable energy source makes good environmental and economic sense for this family farm.

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