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Now that summer has arrived, our staff at the National Center for Appropriate Technology are busy helping folks in the state with agriculture challenges and green energy needs. Read on to catch up on what's happening at NCAT.

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NCAT's Montana Team of Specialists

Harvest of the Month Expands


All Montana early care and education programs and healthcare institutions are now eligible to register for the Montana Harvest of the Month (HoM) program, which will launch August 2018.

This has been a pilot project over the past year in a handful of healthcare facilities and pre-schools and has been very successful. These pilot sites increased local food purchasing, built strong teams to support their programs, and provided meaningful education to people about healthier food choices.

Read more about the early care programming as well as our regular school-based HoM programming.


Energy Services Delivers Results

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Under the auspices of the Montana Resource Efficiency Project (MREP), NCAT's Energy Services team, led by program director Stacie Barry Peterson, conducted lighting audits on the campus of the Warm Springs State Hospital last month. NCAT energy specialists and Energy Corps AmeriCorps service members spent a full day recording the type and number of lights in buildings across the campus. Their goal is to help the state reduce its energy costs at the hospital campus by replacing old lights and ballasts with more efficient options. The project is estimated to save the state more than $30,000 each year in electricity costs.

For more information on MREP and our Energy Services team and the types of services they can perform to help your business reduce energy use and costs, visit their website at




AmeriCorps Works to 'Get Things Done'


In the fall of 2017, the Somers community passed a $16 million bond to rebuild the middle school, a building in dire need of updates. Good news, right? Unfortunately, the new floor plan eliminates the existing school garden.

FoodCorps service member Brenna Sellars, who serves the Somers community, was perplexed by the question, "How do I provide students with garden education without a garden?" Brenna rose to the challenge, collaborating with her site supervisor and school community partners to develop a plan: move the garden to a new temporary location until construction is complete.

Read the full story of Brenna's monumental efforts to re-locate the garden.


Tips for Growing Perennial Herbs


John Wallace, farm manager for our Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training (SIFT) program in Butte, offers some advice for growing herbs in cold desert climates.

"Perennial herbs are a nice option for a low-maintenance garden," John writes in his new blog post. "With minimal maintenance, you can develop resilient plants that will be able to take on the coldest winters and the toughest droughts. We have four simple raised beds in front of our greenhouse that are designated for perennial herbs. Over the years we have grown a variety of herbs, and some have passed the test of time with minimal weeding and watering."

Read John's full post about the various herbs grown on our SIFT farm.



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Copyright © June 2018
The National Center for Appropriate Technology

NCAT Headquarters:
P.O. Box 3838
Butte, MT 59702

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