Providing affordable access to farmland was a seedling of an idea that blossomed into the 121-acre Grow Food Northampton Community Farm 12 years ago. This year, using a values-based fee structure of sliding scale no- and low-cost leases, GFN is leasing farmland to ten diverse and unique farmers who share our mission to create a just and resilient local food system that nourishes our community and protects and enriches the Earth. We are humbled by their dedication and hard work to provide food and medicine for our community. Get to know them! You will love them, as do we.
Introducing the 2022 GFN Community Farm Lineup:
Crimson & Clover Farm
Crimson & Clover Farm began farming just one week after GFN acquired the land and established the Community Farm in 2011. As Grow Food Northampton’s “anchor” CSA farm, farmer Nate Frigard has a 99-year lease on 40 acres for the sustainable production of vegetables and fruits.
The farm’s CSA program includes a SNAP Share option, a free season-long CSA share for individuals and families on SNAP that is facilitated by donations to GFN’s food access programming. The Crimson and Clover Farm Store is open to the public during the growing season for sale of produce and an array of farm products.
Crimson & Clover Farm recently received a $325,000 Food Security Infrastructure grant from the MA Department of Agricultural Resources to renovate their barn into a year-round farm store, and to build a wash/pack room to process produce.
Sign up now for a 2022 CSA subscription!
Flowerwork Farm is a small, no-till, regenerative farm specializing in fresh cut flowers grown for the local community, run by Suna Turgay, who also serves as Grow Food Northampton’s part-time Food Access Assistant. Suna was an early supporter of GFN’s food access work, and is a former community gardener. As a new GFN farmer, Suna will grow annuals, bulbs, perennials, and flowering shrubs and trees, using unconventional techniques that prioritize people power, and that limit the use of plastics and fossil fuels. Flowerwork Farm will provide vocational training, transitional employment, and volunteer opportunities in an inclusive, supportive environment using the healing power of farming and art.
Flowerwork Farm is offering weekly home and business subscriptions, wholesale buckets for weddings and events, and custom arrangements for local customers. Learn more and shop now here.
Hill Ross Homestead
In 2016, Jacqueline Baer-Leighton and Lance Kirley purchased the historic Hill-Ross Homestead to house their five children, two dogs, and a cat, as well as their design-build firm. Over the past 6 years, they remodeled the outbuildings and residences, which once served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Currently the Homestead also houses a flock of free-range Lavender Ameraucana and Rhode Island Reds as well as a herd of Nigerian dwarf goats that are enjoying grazing on Grow Food Northampton’s Community Farm. Lance built a mobile chicken coop this past fall in hopes of practicing regenerative farming to fertilize the north field. The Nigerian Dwarf goats were acquired in the spring of 2019 to combat Japanese Knotweed in an ecologically friendly manner. Lance and Jacqui are looking forward to fresh goats’ milk for consumption and for making soaps and lotions. They are planning a historic garden rooted in Shaker farming principles and modern regenerative agriculture that will demonstrate that ecological health, thriving crops, happy livestock, and human wellness are inseparable.
Chicken eggs are sold roadside year-round. Grab a dozen when you’re in the area: 123 Meadow Street, Florence.
Joe Czajkowski is a third generation vegetable farmer, and one of the best-known names in Pioneer Valley agriculture. Since 2014, Joe has leased land on the Grow Food Northampton Community Farm to grow certified organic winter squash. Joe owns and operates Lakeside Organics of Hadley LLC and Joe Czajkowski Farm, with 300 acres in production, approximately 100 of which are certified organic.
Joe is a leader in selling directly to institutions, including public school cafeterias, the University of Massachusetts, and Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Joe is also an innovator in adding value to his produce by processing peeled and chopped butternut squash, and carrot and zucchini sticks.
New Family Community Farming Coop (NFCFC)
NFCFC started three years ago with a group of 19 Somali Bantu refugee families living in Springfield and Connecticut. Their primary crops are corn, collard greens, water melon, squash, peppers, and onions. This year they plan to grow additional varieties of vegetables and fruits that are popular in the United States. NFCFC farmers sell their produce at two farmers markets in Springfield and West Springfield, and they sell to underrepresented communities to ensure easy access to healthy foods.
Ras Farm‘s owner Courtney Whitley has been a farmer and farm worker in the Valley for 20 years. Beginning in 2022, Ras Farm will be growing large scale quantities of vegetables for the wholesale market on the Community Farm.
Courtney has previously grown in Hatfield and at the New England Small Farm Institute in Belchertown, and sells wholesale to the Pioneer Valley Growers Association.
Sawmill Herb Farm
Beginning in 2013, Sawmill Herb Farm first leased 1.5 acres on the Community Farm’s south parcel right next to the Grow Food Northampton Organic Community Garden to grow greens and herbs. Owned by Susan Pincus, who is passionate about working alongside others to create beautiful and healing food and medicine, the farm has since expanded to 3.5 acres.
Sawmill Herb Farm is now growing over 100 varieties of medicinal and culinary herbs for herb CSA shares, teas, apothecary products, and plant starts. Fresh Herb Shares from Sawmill are available in the Pioneer Valley, Boston, and New York City, and are shipped anywhere in the northeast through their Farm to Door Share program.
Song Sparrow Farm
Song Sparrow Farm, owned and operated by Tony Hall & Roisin Kirby, offers a CSA farm share program with weekly pickups on Wednesdays in Florence. Their
salad mix is available at local grocery stores. Song Sparrow Farm has plans for a NEW farm stand opening in 2022, at the GFN Community Garden, and online. Tony and Roisin describe themselves as “queer farmer educators.” “For us, growing food is loving resilience,” they say. Friends of GFN may recall that Song Sparrow Farm was started by Diego Irizarry-Gerould, who is now a GFN Board Member.
Sign up now for a 2022 CSA – There are lots of options available – something for everyone!
Straw Hat Farm
Andrea Dustin began Straw Hat Farm in 2022, born out of a love for home gardening and a passion for food access. Andrea was previously employed by Grow Food Northampton as an assistant to the Community Food Distribution Project and currently works at Smith College’s Jandon Center for Community Engagement.
The plan for this first year is to have a farm stand in Andrea’s front yard on Nonotuck Street. In the next year or two, she aims to establish a small CSA with a hyper-local focus.
2 Cents HomeGrown
2 Cents Homegrown, owned and operated by Shaunia Flower, is back for their second season on the Grow Food Northampton Community Farm. 2 Cents Homegrown grows mixed vegetables and herbs to sell in Springfield.
In addition to farming and food access work, Shaunia wrote a cookbook with her daughter in 2020 based on their experience adopting a vegan diet: The Broke Vegan.