Many people played part in the creation of Grow Food Northampton in 2010 and 2011 by supporting the “Our Farm, Our Future” founding campaign that enabled us to purchase 120 acres of the former Bean and Allard Farms in February, 2011, and establish the Northampton Community Farm. Today, our many programs carry out the vision that inspired so many to give of their time, money, and passion in 2010 and 2011.
On May 16, 2018, we hosted a Founders’ Celebration to thank major donors to the 2011 campaign and let them know what we have accomplished since then. It was a chance to talk about how much we appreciate the strong start that helped to create this little organization, and to give an update on how we have been “investing in the investment” over the last seven years to fulfill the full promise of that campaign’s vision.
Adele Franks, longtime board president and continuing board member, shared memories of the campaign. Lilly Lombard, founding director, offered a rapid-fire account of every person in the room and their contribution to the campaign. Rebecca Martin, community member and program participant, spoke passionately about how her farm share at Crimson and Clover, subsidized by Grow Food Northampton, has changed her family’s life. Rebecca shared memories of watching her children learn and grow in the fields, how they connected with each other through this experience, and the many positive mental and physical heath benefits that it provided.
Guests, and members of Grow Food Northampton’s board and staff, enjoyed an excellent seasonal dinner featuring local ingredients, provided by Wheelhouse. The room was alive with conversation, connections and memories. The event theme was “Cultivate Gratitude,” and guests went home high quality canvas bags and shirts emblazoned with this apt phrase, donated by Chia Collins and Michael Cohen.
With gratitude to our founding members, thank you for inspiring us to continue to take practical steps toward a local food system that is fair, sustainable, and healthy for everyone — farmers, the environment, and customers of all incomes!