Welcome to NACF!The North Amherst Community Farm is a small, local, not-for-profit organization devoted to preserving farmland and promoting sustainable farming practices in our community. The capital campaign we completed in 2016 will preserve a 30+ acre farm property in North Amherst, MA.
How NACF worksNACF operates via a shared stewardship model; community owned farmland with a long-term, affordable lease to succeeding generations of farmers. Since its purchase in 2006, NACF's farm property has been leased to Simple Gifts Farm , a for-profit entity which operates an organic CSA. This model will provide a local, sustainable food source and accessible open space for everyone in the community; not just for our own generation, but long after those of us who have invested in it are gone.Shared stewardship has already proven highly successful. SGF has worked hard at improving the farm; drilling a well and installing an irrigation system; clearing brush that encroached on the farm fields over decades; adding greenhouses for winter production and PV solar panels on the CSA share barn; increasing soil fertility using a small scale livestock program.
Brief History of NACFIn 2006, the North Amherst Community Farm (NACF) was created when the Dziekanowski farm, one of the last working farms in North Amherst, was purchased and saved from development. Funds were raised through a combination of private donations and town and state funding.NACF, run by a local volunteer board of directors, worked out a long-term lease with Simple Gifts Farm (SGF) to run a community supported agricultural operation on the land. By combining their efforts, these two organizations have formed a successful public-private partnership that promotes sustainable, organic farming methods, provides healthy farm products to the region, educates the community on food and farming issues, and helps preserve the agricultural heritage and character of the North Amherst Village Center Historic District.
A Community Owned FarmNACF's mission is to promote and support sustainable agriculture in the heart of North Amherst. The primary objective of North Amherst Community Farm is to preserve and develop its 35 acre farm site into a productive and educational agricultural resource for the community. The vision of North Amherst Community Farm is to cultivate the farm as a unique community and natural resource. NACF will be a hub of community life and home to a working, organic and sustainable farm operation while maintaining the integrity of the wildlife corridor, natural landscape, and the public walking trails through and around the farm. NACF will create more equitable access to fresh, organic food for the 10,000 people living within a 1-1/2 mile radius of the farm by leasing the land to a Community Supported Agriculture farm operation and by finding ways to make the food and the farm experience accessible to all. NACF's educational and cultural programming will strengthen the bonds within our diverse community; engage a wide diversity of adults and children in the culture of farming and raising farm animals, and raise awareness of the connection between sustainable food production and the health of the environment.
A Community Farm needs a Farm CommunityOur farm community is made up not only by people who get their food directly from this particular farm, but also those who live around the farm and enjoy the recreational opportunities – walking, skiing and birding for example - that it affords. And then most importantly our community includes people who share the project's core values - that of maintaining access of farmers to affordable farmland.
Please watch "Once in a Lifetime"Local film maker and Board Member Ted White tells the story of how our community saved this farm from development and why we continue to support its restoration as a viable community farm! NACF's many friends and supporters raised enough funds to purchase of the farm. We now are focused on restoring the historical structures so that this farm will be ours and yours -- forever.
We still need your help!Community support from generous contributors was crucial in enabling NACF to retire the mortgage debt on the farm, preserving this precious farmland in the heart of North Amherst now and into the future. We continue to work on maintenance of farm buildings and development of infrastructure for community facilities. If you look through our photo gallery, you'll see two very "picturesque" barns that clearly need repairs -- the "Middle barn" and the "Pine St. barn". Repairing and stabilizing these two barns is at the top of our current to-do list, and we need your help. Donations will provide materials to match the sweat equity provided by our members during a series of farm community volunteer workdays starting in the spring of 2017.
The sense of community resilience and pride that come from doing this together will live on down the years in the mission of this community owned farm.NACF is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, non-profit organization. Donations can be made either online or by mail.Donate online - make a single contribution, or sign up for automatic monthly e-donations. Secure online donations to NACF can be made through Network for Good by clicking on the button below.
Or donate by mail - Send a check together with NACF's mail in donation form to NACF, PO Box 9648, North Amherst, MA 01059-9648
Sign up for NACF Email UpdatesNACF sends out email updates on a roughly once a month basis. If you would like to keep up to date with our programs and activities please sign up for NACF Email updates. We promise not to deluge you with messages and it is straightforward to unsubscribe.
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