We hope this website will keep you up-to-date on the progress of our new Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training (SIFT) project. Through this innovative program, we're working to create food security, economic revitalization, and environmental protection through small-scale intensive farm training.

What is SIFT?

Today, more than 50 million Americans live in "food-insecure" households, including more than 17 million children. Much of this food insecurity is the result of families living in areas where they don't have easy access to healthy, nutritious food. In these communities, known as "food deserts," families often turn to convenience stores and fast food restaurants for their meals. But what if every community—even those in food deserts—could increase their food security by producing their own healthy food? NCAT believes they can. more »

Organic Pest Management: Ladybugs

By John Wallace, SIFT Farm Manager One of SIFT's new resident ladybugs helps manage pests on greenhouse basil. Photo: NCAT. Two weeks ago, we had some very enthusiastic visitors on the SIFT farm when the local Head Start program brought a group of kids… more »
Posted on: May 15th, 2017

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Choosing Varieties for Our Climate: Fruit for Butte

By John Wallace, SIFT Farm Manager John Wallace plants fruit trees for this year's SIFT trial. Photo: NCAT This year, we’re conducting a fruit trial on the SIFT farm. Growing fruit in Butte is a challenge. You need the roots to take well enough to… more »
Posted on: May 3rd, 2017

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ATTRA Offers Tipsheet on Poultry Basics

The SIFT farm has some new residents this week: a flock of cute, fluffy chicks to add to our existing flock. Before long, they’ll be producing fresh, healthy eggs for SIFT’s customers. Chickens are a great addition to any farm or backyard and are… more »
Posted on: April 6th, 2017

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Choosing Varieties for our Climate: Bolting

By John Wallace, SIFT Farm Manager Selecting varieties that will do well in Butte is critical for boosting our yield. We keep detailed notes on all the varieties we grow so that we can make informed decisions from year to year. This year, I am trying to… more »
Posted on: March 22nd, 2017

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Getting a Jump Start on the Growing Season

Overwintered parsley on the SIFT farm. Photo: NCAT By John Wallace, SIFT Farm Manager Every year we practice over wintering a few plants to see if we can get a head start on the next year. The results have been helpful in understanding our potential to… more »
Posted on: February 16th, 2017

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