86% of $100,000 goal
On Monday, July 10, amidst intense flooding across the region, the Mill River jumped its banks on both sides of the Grow Food Northampton (GFN) Community Farm. As a result, a large portion of the farm was covered in several feet of floodwater. This was the largest, most damaging flood the GFN Community Farm has seen since it was founded in 2010.
Nearly all of the 10 farms located on the land were impacted, with at least two experiencing total crop loss, and others partial loss. Sheds were capsized, fences ripped through, and tools and other materials were pulled by the force of the water to distances of as much as a quarter mile or more. Some things will never be found, and other equipment like water pumps and irrigation lines were irretrievably damaged. In addition, most of the Organic Community Garden flooded, and gardeners who rely on their plots to feed their families lost all of their beautiful produce that they’ve spent weeks and months tending and anticipating.
We have begun to assess the damage, and while it may be some time before we know the full extent of it, we know that it is significant, and we know the road to recovery will be long. This fund specifically supports relief efforts, prioritizing the farmers who rely on their land for their livelihoods and who experienced the greatest losses, and the community gardeners who rely on the harvest from their plots for sustenance. Funds will also support farm infrastructure repairs as those are identified.
We will continue to update you on the impact of the flood and how we plan to rebuild. We’re confident that this community can come back stronger — with your help. Thank you!
Grow Food Northampton Community Farm, located on 121 acres of once Nipmuc, Pocumtuc, and Nonotuck Indigenous land, is the largest community farm in Massachusetts. We lease most of our land to small farms in amounts of less than an acre to as much as 60 acres, and for time periods from 1 to 99 years. There are currently 10 farmer lessees on the land. We prioritize leasing land to farmers from communities marginalized and harmed by the conventional food system and industrial agriculture. Using a flexible and innovative approach to leases on land and infrastructure, we seek to address well-documented challenges in land access for farmers while striving for a mix of economically and environmentally compatible and sustainable farm operations.
Grow Food Northampton's mission is to create a just and resilient local food system that nourishes our community and protects and enriches the earth.