UPDATE: Currently all 2014 garden plots are leased. Visit soon to learn of our 2015 Registration Day.
Welcome to the Grow Food Northampton Organic Community Garden (GFOG), located at 140 Meadow St, in Florence, MA. GFOG is 7+ acres of dedicated space at the Grow Food Northampton Community Farm where citizens can get their hands dirty, enjoy nature and the company of fellow gardeners, and grow their own food organically! Launched in 2011, over the past three years, our staff and volunteers have laid GFOG’s groundwork. Thanks to the City of Northampton’s support including prepaying a 198-year lease to us and granting Community Preservation Funds toward the creation of GFOG, GFN has worked hard to install basic garden infrastructure–water source, irrigation, shed, composting outhouse–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.
A 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
GFOG will contain nearly 300 plots in 2015. Each registered gardener contributes three hours of volunteer work at the Garden to make it a truly grassroots community resource.
- Access to prime soil and water for irrigation
- Shared tools
- Access to rich compost (for additional fee) and wood chips
- Regular e-bulletin with tips, volunteer opportunities, rainfall information, and calendar of events
- Training and workshops on various organic gardening topics
The Master Plan
Guided by permaculture principles, GFOG offers many Northampton residents a place to grow their own food, and to experience cutting-edge sustainable agriculture. GFOG 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 citizen food-growing, educational programs, demonstration garden plots, workshops, commercial agriculture ventures and wildlife habitat. And the heart of the parcel will be the seven acres slated for community garden plots.
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 sports fields. 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 volunteer your skills to bring these plans and our garden programs to fruition!