A recent visitor remarks:
“I was so impressed with the beautiful, bountiful, neat-as-a-pin community garden, in what must be record time. Congratulations to you all for a great job and a true “90-day wonder”. We Texans are so envious of your soil, rain, cooler climate, and great growing season and, of course, great gardening talent.“ Dick Pierce, primary instructor for the Austin Permaculture Guild, Austin, TX
Welcome to the Florence Organic Community Garden (FOG), 7+ acres of dedicated space at the Northampton Community Farm where citizens can get their hands dirty, enjoy nature and the company of fellow gardeners, and grow their own food organically! Over the past year, GFN and the City of Northampton have worked collaboratively to lay FOG’s groundwork. Thanks to the City’s support including prepaying a 198-year lease to us and granting Community Preservation Funds toward the creation of FOG, GFN has worked hard to install basic garden infrastructure–water source, irrigation, shed–as well as organic gardening training to 100% of our gardeners, and affordable access to the essential ingredients for successful organic gardening–plentiful compost, straw, cardboard for sheet mulching, and wood chips.
Note: To learn about registering for a 2014 garden plot, click here.
Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, 2012 marked the formal “Opening Day” of FOG when all the basic infrastructure for our 100 “pioneering” gardeners–driveway, water source, tool shed, etc–was complete. Thank you Mayor Narkewicz and everyone else who joined our ceremony!
- Access to water
- Shared tools
- Access to rich compost and rock dust (for additional fee)
- Regular e-newsletter
- Training and workshops from expert gardeners
We thank you for your interest in the community garden and hope you will join us during this very exciting time!
The Master Plan
Guided by permaculture principles, FOG offers many Northampton residents a place to grow their own food, and to experience cutting-edge sustainable agriculture. FOG is organized into “neighborhood blocks” each with its own communal space (with picnic table and fruit trees) and resources in order to foster community within the site.
The design, drafted by the creative team at the Regenerative Design Group in Greenfield, is based on thorough site analysis and input from the City, gardeners at the current Northampton Community Garden, and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. As currently envisioned, the entire 17 acres will include space for educational programs, demonstration garden plots, workshops, commercial agriculture ventures and riverfront habitat. But the heart of the parcel will be the seven acres slated for community garden plots.
The current plan holds over 400 garden plots. With funds from the Community Preservation Fund, GFN will install a water source and spigots, access driveways, and other needed infrastructure. To make the garden as accessible as possible, GFN intends to phase in raised garden beds for people with mobility challenges. Meanwhile, GFN has seeded the area with perennial rye and clover and added mineral-rich rock dust to protect and nourish the soil.
The master plan has been guided by permaculture principles. One way these principles are being applied is to plant a permanent edible hedgerow along Meadow St. that supports pollination, improves habitat, provides food to people and animals, and creates a much-needed wind block. This hedgerow will also provide a visual buffer between the garden and adjacent streets and homes. The design includes rehabilitation of the 200-foot buffer zone along the Mill River through native species plantings that also support agriculture.
There is plenty of work to do, so let us know if you would like to contribute some effort to bring these plans into fruition.