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 eight small farms (including four farms owned and operated by farmers of color, including a collective of 16 Somali Bantu refugee families and a Central American immigrant-led cooperative);
- Run a 320-plot organic Community Garden for over 400 community members, more than 50% 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 the Community Food Distribution Project 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 heavily subsidized 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.
Organic Community Gardening and Affordable Farmland
Food Access and Farm Education Programs
- 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.