Dear Friend, 

Autumn is my favorite season. At least this year it is. Having lived on and off in New England for decades, my seasonal preference has been as changing as, well, the seasons change. As a young girl, summer was the easy winner with its endless carefree days of play and freedom from schoolwork. In later years, I relished the reawakening of the natural world in spring and the promise of more hours of light. And though I often appreciated the cool crisp air and then-colorful, crunchy leaves of autumn, its beauty was subdued by the ominous foreboding of the cold and dark of winter. But now, I embrace this season of beauty and bounty with temperatures that allow us to bask in it. 

Yet, the winter still looms. And this year, like last, there is an almost tangible anxiety that the darkness could be more than just a lack of light. So why is autumn still my favorite season? It has to do with my belief in the strength of community. The term may be overused but it should not be undervalued. The pandemic underscored the necessity of community and in some cases, created it. Last fall and winter, I helped deliver farm produce with Grow Food Northampton’s Community Food Distribution Project with a dedicated group of people previously unknown to me. In the spring, I began my position as GFN’s Tuesday Market Manager. For the last 26 weeks, I’ve had the privilege to be part of a community of farmers, food and craft vendors, and musicians and patrons, all of whom form a robust web of mutual support. The vendors barter with one another and donate goods to the musicians, the patrons support the vendors and tip the musicians who then become customers of the vendors. I’ve also been fortunate to have a plot at GFN’s Community Garden this year. Talk about a support network! - these gardeners will help out with anything from swapping plants to watering while you’re away to helping rid your plot of insidious jumping worms. 

So, yeah, winter is around the corner and, yeah, the trepidation about lingering effects of the pandemic is unsettling. But I’ve witnessed the strength and caring of this community. So I will revel in the magnificence of this season because I know that when the cold comes creeping in, you’ve got my back.


Helen Kahn
Farmers Market Manager

When Giving Is All We Have 

                                              One river gives
                                              Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.

Volunteer With Us!

Giving Garden Volunteer Hours - As the season is winding down, we have a few more opportunities to help put the gardens to bed. Join us for one of our volunteer sessions coming up in the next few weeks, culminating with garlic planting on the morning of Tuesday November 2nd. Sign up here!

Community Food Distribution Project (CFDP) - The CFDP delivers fresh local produce to 14 Northampton neighborhoods each week. We are in need of volunteers to help with set up and doorstep deliveries on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The shifts are about two hours. Join the team! Sign up here!

Farmers Market News!

We're happy to announce that Grow Food Northampton will be hosting twice-monthly Winter Markets at the Northampton Senior Center beginning in November. Watch your inbox for more details as the season approaches. 
The Grow Food Northampton Winter Market will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays, November 20, December 4 and 18, January 8 and 22, February 5 and 19, and March 5 and 19.

Tuesday Market is a bountiful autumnal harvest these days! Stop by and fill up on a huge array of fall crops plus prepared foods like pierogis, pies, and Mexican food and Thai foods. There's always something new, great music every week, and SNAP Match at the purple market tent for those who have SNAP and P-EBT. The market is every Tuesday from 1:30 to 6:30 and the season runs until Tuesday, November 9. 

Welcome Northampton High School Interns, Lydia and Kamini! 

Hi, my name is Lydia Moore (right), and I am a junior this year at Northampton High School. Interning for Grow Food Northampton has been so exciting, and my favorite thing about it is the connections to the cycle of organic food I am helping create. From harvesting in the Giving Garden to prepping Grow Food's veggies at Manna Soup Kitchen, having influence on the cycle of giving organic food is such an amazing thing.

Hello! My name is Kamini Waldman (left) and I am a senior at Northampton High School. Thus far, I have loved the time I have spent as an intern for Grow Food Northampton. I appreciate and value the time I have spent at events engaging with community members about GFN and its mission. It’s also been nice to be working in the Giving Garden each week as the season comes to an end. I have heard about GFN for years and how impactful its presence is on the community - I am thrilled to be part of the team now!

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 – October 15 marks the federally-designated National Hispanic Heritage Month to honor and celebrate the myriad rich contributions to the United States by Latinx/Latino/Latine Americans -- whose ancestry is from Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. (For more on the different identity terms used for Latinx peoples, we like this article from the Luz Collective.) 

What we know here at Grow Food Northampton is that our food and agricultural systems in the U.S. are dependent on the Latinx workforce that comprises 83% of agricultural workers in this country. While we celebrate, honor, and are unceasingly grateful for their work, we must be sure that we don’t sugarcoat the reality of what this means. Agricultural workers in the U.S. are among the most socially and economically disadvantaged people in the country. In fact, 33% of agricultural worker families have income levels below the national poverty guidelines, and most contend with language and cultural barriers, and a lack of access to education, healthcare, adequate housing, and social services. (National Center for Farmworker Health)

What’s more, Latinx families are on the frontlines of food insecurity. Generally across the U.S., Latinx households experience food insecurity rates at double those of white households. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 58% of Latinx adults in Massachusetts have been experiencing food insecurity as compared to 24% of white adults. 

We recommend watching a just-released documentary, Fruits of Labor, from director Emily Cohen Ibañez, that illustrates these statistics in an intimate and moving way. By following the day-to-day life of Ashley, a 17-year old Latina agricultural worker in Central California who is also attending school, longing to apply to college, and advocating for farmworkers’ rights, we develop a critical analysis of the food system in this country. Once you watch the one-hour film and fall in love with its real-life protagonist, this insightful interview with the director in Civil Eats can provide you with more information and analysis, as does this earlier short film she made on Ashley in 2019. 

What We're Watching

Earlier this week, we observed Indigenous Peoples Day here at Grow Food Northampton. In honor of the day, we want to share with you “Seed Mother: Coming Home,” an inspiring short film that tells the story of the Seed Rematriation movement’s work of cross-cultural reconciliation to bring seeds home to their Indigenous communities of origin. The Indigenous Seedkeepers Network, a program of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, is assisting communities working on rematriation of their "precious seed relatives." As the filmmakers share: "There are deeply embedded cultural and spiritual aspects of the seed rematriation path, as well as legal and political aspects that directly address Indigenous seed justice. The seeds are coming home to us. They are helping us to heal."
Please DONATE to support our work!

Would you like to join
Grow Food Northampton's 
Deep Roots Society,
our bequest group to honor our planned givers?
Find out more

The Giving Garden and our Food Access programs are funded by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare.

Thanks to Our Featured Sponsors!

Curran & Keegan Financial

Copyright © 2021 Grow Food Northampton, Inc., All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp