Crimson & Clover Farm is Grow Food Northampton’s “anchor” CSA farm, enjoying a 99-year lease on 40 acres for sustainable production of vegetables, fruits, and livestock.
Crimson & Clover has been farming our land since the week after we purchased it in 2011! They typically serve 350-400 shareholders, most at the farm and some in Boston. A significant number of on-farm shareholders participate in our SNAP Share partnership. Crimson & Clover Farm is also the primary supplier of produce for our Neighborhood Markets. In addition to the 99-year lease on the former “Bean Farm,” Crimson & Clover leases about 15 additional acres to make room for more cover crops and rotations that improve soil quality.
Co-owner Jen writes, “Every season our enthusiasm for and love of this work seems to build. No two seasons are the same: the weather is always different, we work with a bunch of new and awesome employees, and we get to experiment with growing new types and varieties of vegetables each season. Every season is fresh and unfolds with its own story, challenges and successes.”
If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience Crimson & Clover’s CSA this season, get on the waiting list for next year’s shares. All their vegetables and fruit are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers! Fresh, local, delicious! In addition, their Farm Store offers fresh and processed products grown and made by local producers, enhancing the shopping experience for shareholders and making local food available to non-shareholders.
Crimson & Clover’s Story
In the fall of 2010, after a three-month application process, and with the assistance of an expert evaluation panel, Grow Food Northampton selected a western Massachusetts farming couple, Nate Frigard and Jen Smith, to be our anchor CSA farmers for the Northampton Community Farm.
Nate and Jen have a combined 20 years of farming experience, were trained at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California Santa Cruz, and have been growing, managing and teaching farming in Massachusetts including Waltham Fields Community Farm, Waltham, MA, and the Farm School in Orange, MA. In 2010, Nate managed the CSA operation at the Farm School while Jen worked as a Land Conservation Associate with Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust.
In February 2011, after signing a 99-year lease with Grow Food Northampton to lease the 39-acre former “Bean Farm”, Jen and Nate launched Crimson & Clover Farm. In a few short months, they sold 200 shares and, in June 2011, began distributing their first shares to local households. In addition to vegetables, plans include growing flowers for customers and bees. Plants that attract native pollinators will gradually replace invasive species along the perimeter of the property. A couple of beehives are already on the farm but Jen has plans for many more.
“We daydream of summer farm camps and flocks of chickens, river ecology walks, gardening workshops, a shared community room with space for local artwork and CSA shares available and affordable for everyone in our community. It will happen, step by step, through our work and through the help of many others.”