Amidst intense flooding across the region, the Mill River jumped its banks on both sides of the Grow Food Northampton Community Farm on the morning of July 10, 2023. As a result, a large portion of the Community Farm was covered in feet of floodwater. On the South Parcel, all four farms flooded, along with the Giving Garden and approximately half of the Organic Community Garden plots. Water rushed across Meadow Street, which was closed to traffic, and the farms on the Main Field of the Community Farm (adjacent to the Florence Fields playing fields) were also partially flooded for a good part of the day. The East Parcel of the Community Farm (up Meadow Street towards downtown Florence) was also flooded.
Today’s has been the largest, most damaging flood the Grow Food Northampton Community Farm has seen since it was founded in 2010. We still don’t know the full extent of the damage, but it is likely that the devastation to the farm lessees and the Community Garden will be significant. We will be assessing the impact of the flood on the crops, gardens, and farm infrastructure here at the Community Farm and we will be in touch soon with more information about our next steps. Our priority is to support the farmers and gardeners who rely on the land for their food and livelihood.
In addition to what we’ve experienced here at Grow Food Northampton, there are hundreds of farms up and down the Valley that have been impacted, and many may yet be submerged as the Connecticut River is poised to breach its banks sometime tomorrow. Now more than ever, it is important to support our local farms by buying from farm stands, farmers markets, and local grocery stores. Reach out to the farmers around you to see how you can support them!
Thanks to everyone who has already reached out to offer help. If you are interested in volunteering for cleanup efforts, please sign up here and we will send you an email with details when we know what work is needed.
Thank you for your support during this time and please stay tuned for more information soon!