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Nourishing Our Community and the Earth

Dear Friend,

It’s easy to talk about the fact that another world is possible, but it’s a lot harder to actually live that out in practice. As someone fairly new to the Grow Food Northampton community, I’ve been moved by the time, passion and hands-in-the-dirt work it takes to build an alternative way to feed ourselves. It takes patience, community, love and determination to decide to sustain ourselves from the land on which we live, and to ensure that everyone has access to that land and the food it produces.

It would have been easy 12 years ago, when a developer was looking to purchase the last remaining farmland in town, for people to throw up their hands and decide, “Let’s not fight it. Let another set of McMansions go up. We can always go to the grocery store.” 

But that is not what happened. Instead, people fought against the existing system and set their sights on the long-term. They remembered that another world is possible. They not only preserved the land for growing, they democratized it. They began the hard work.

And now, the Grow Food Northampton Community Farm feeds thousands of people, and in a massive crisis like the pandemic, Northampton had what many other places did not...a way to feed everyone healthy local food.

But this vibrant local food system can’t survive on its own. It takes YOU, the community of people, volunteering their time, working the land, sharing the vision, and educating the next generation.  It takes people giving of their money, time and passion.  It takes constant maintenance and careful attention. It means working through the challenges that come up and not letting anything stop us.

I have seen that remarkable effort live in color over my first six months with Grow Food Northampton.  It can be challenging at times, but this work of creating a just and robust local food system IS what needs to happen.  I’m honored to join this project and grateful every day for all of you who have chosen to be a part of it.

Another world IS possible, and another world IS happening, right here in Northampton. I’m so glad we are all in it together.

Corey Kurtz
Development Director

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Winter Market

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The Mushroom Garden at the GFN Giving Garden is all tucked in for the winter. This garden has produced over 40 pounds of shiitake mushrooms this season! All of them were donated to our partner organizations, Manna Community Kitchen and Star Light Center, where they were prepared into delicious meals. The Mushroom Garden was built over several years of mushroom log workshops -- educating and feeding the community!

What's Happening Around GFN's Programs

Pictured above: Fifth grade field trip to the Lydia Maria Child Garden at the Grow Food Northampton Community Farm, Applepallooza at Michael's House

  • Northampton Fifth-Graders Learn About Florence’s Abolitionist History- This fall, GFN, together with the David Ruggles Center, hosted fifth grade students from all of Northampton’s public elementary schools for a historical field trip. We led students on a walking tour and shared stories about the 19th century abolitionists of Florence who shaped their lives around resisting slavery and creating alternative ways of life, including how to produce sugar and silk without the labor of enslaved Africans. Read more here. Know a Northampton fifth grader? Ask them about what they learned!
  • Applepallooza! At the end of October, GFN hosted Applepallooza at Michael's House, a senior housing community in Northampton. Residents enjoyed cider pressing, a presentation by Matt Kaminski on native apple varieties of Western MA, and a bake-off!  
  • Mobile Market Kickoff- Last week GFN's winter mobile market season kicked off at family and senior housing neighborhoods in Northampton! The winter mobile market features FREE veggies, eggs, meat, and value added products like this week's tortillas from Mi Tierra Tortillas. Folks also chose eggs from eggs from Cream of the Crop Farm, apples from Apex Orchards, potatoes from Red Fire Farm, and carrots, onions, cabbage and Brussels sprouts from Kitchen Garden Farm. We'll be delivering every other week and offering extras like holiday boxes, recipe kits, community events and more!
  • Garlic Planting- As the Giving Garden is wrapping up for the season, following tradition, the final task of the year is garlic planting with members of the community. Please join us for Garlic Planting and Volunteer Appreciation (lunch included!) to celebrate the end of the season. This Saturday, November 12, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. RSVP here by clicking on the time 11 a.m.
  • Save the Date- Arts and Crafts in the Garden - An all-ages event hosted by GFN and the Northampton Public Schools Early Childhood Center, November 17,  9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Rain Date 12/1 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., 140 Meadow Street, Florence. 

Mark Your Calendar: First Winter Market on November 19th

The Tuesday Market season wrapped up this week. Thank you to our amazing market staff, hard-working vendors, SNAP Match sponsors, musicians, and loyal customers for making it a great season! Now on to the Winter Market!

First Winter Market of 2022
November 19 
10 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Northampton Senior Center

Stay up to date on all of the GFN Farmers Market happenings with our weekly market newsletter. If you aren't receiving it, adjust your preferences at the bottom of this email.

Marking Florence's Place on the Underground Railroad 

On October 20, we were honored to host a gathering to dedicate the installation of a permanent historical marker plaque at the Hill-Ross Homestead, across from the GFN Community Farm in Florence, honoring the significance of Florence in the Underground Railroad during the early-to-mid 19th century.

Huge thanks to researcher and project leader, Esosa Osayamen, who originally proposed the plaque for a senior project at Smith College. Esosa graduated in the spring but returned to Florence from Tennessee with her family to join the plaque dedication ceremony. Thank you to the David Ruggles Center, as well, for their expertise and extensive research on the abolitionist local history of the area. Stop by to view the plaque yourself on Meadow Street, adjacent to the Florence Fields and across from the South Parcel of Grow Food Northampton’s Community Farm.


Check out these press links to learn more:

There's an easy way to make a difference this season!

Give to Grow Food Northampton in honor of a loved one for the holidays. Go to and choose the option to "Dedicate this Donation". You will be able to customize and e-mail an instant e-card to them letting them know of your gift.

What We Are Reading

Did you know that as many as 75% of butterfly species have disappeared? Other pollinators are severely declining, as well. As this article, Climate Crisis Is Killing Off Key Insects and Spreading Insect-Borne Diseases,  from Truthout explains, the reasons for these declines are numerous, and none of them are good. They include habitat loss, industrial agriculture, pesticide use, light pollution, and others. Exactly these are the reasons that Grow Food Northampton is committed to the work that we do.


Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors and Funders!

Copyright © 2022 Grow Food Northampton, Inc., All rights reserved.

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