Grow Food Northampton’s mission is to create a just and resilient local food system that nourishes our community and protects and enriches the earth.
We own and steward the 121-acre Grow Food Northampton Community Farm where we:
- Lease low-cost farmland to 10 small farms (including four farms owned and operated by farmers of color, including a collective of 20 Somali Bantu refugee families);
- Run a 320-plot organic Community Garden for over 400 community members, more than 35% of whom receive subsidized plots to grow food for themselves and their families;
- Operate a Giving Garden that grows thousands of pounds of food annually for donation to local food pantries and community meal sites;
- Conduct collaborative research projects with academics and others on sustainable and climate resilience-enhancing agricultural practices; and
- Provide extensive land- and food-based educational programming for children and adults.
Grow Food Northampton also:
- Conducts free Mobile Farmers Markets that supports local farms by buying their produce and delivering it to community members experiencing food insecurity — while also conducting healthy food knowledge and nutrition programming;
- Owns and produces vibrant year-round farmers markets that offer over 30 local farms and other food vendors a venue to connect directly with customers;
- Runs a SNAP Match program to more than double the spending power of SNAP recipients on nutritious local farm products at our farmers markets;
- Offers free Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares to SNAP recipients so they can receive weekly farm-fresh vegetables from Crimson and Clover, the “anchor farm” on the Grow Food Northampton Community Farm; and
- Ensures that all of our food access programming is guided and steered by our Food Access Advisory Committee and Participant-Staffers, individuals with lived experience of food insecurity.
- Increase the supply and accessibility of space for food growing and of locally grown food.
- Educate the community about sustainable agriculture and help residents gain the skills and resources to grow food organically.
- Support the development of a vibrant, local, agriculture economy.
- Broad access to high quality, nutritious, locally grown food improves community health and reduces health inequalities.
- Food security is an elemental long-term investment for our children.
- A strong, diversified local food economy strengthens our food security and increases our resilience in the face of economic instability, climate change, energy depletion and other possible threats.
- Independent small-scale farms that directly feed their communities dignify both the farmer and the consumer; farmers with a direct stake in the local market are more reliable, efficient, and accountable; consumers who are intimate with their food chain and their farmers will respect and support them more effectively.
- Successful agriculture looks to the past and the future: it studies lessons from our farming history, embraces new research into sustainable practices, critically examines current agricultural paradigms, and fosters farm-based and food-based learning in the entire community.
- Farmers deserve access to affordable farmland and local markets, and should have the opportunity to build equity in their enterprise.