Category Archives: Education

UMass Permaculture Project receives national recognition

The UMass Permaculture Project is one of 15 finalists (from 1000+ nominees) for the White House Campus Champions of  Change Challenge.  The top five vote getters will be invited to an event at the White House. They will also be featured by mtvU and MTV Act and be given the opportunity to host an episode of mtvU’s signature program, “The Dean’s List.” Please vote here to make UMass one of the 5 selected to visit the White House. 

“All Across America, college and university students are helping our country out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world,” said President Obama. “I hope this challenge shines a light on their efforts, and inspires Americans of all ages to get involved in their communities.”

The deadline to cast your vote is Saturday, March 3rd at 11:59 p.m.

Please join me in supporting local farming, education and community at NACF

TO:  Friends of local farming

FROM:  John Gerber

I love local farms and community farming, and although I have a huge garden that provides my family with much of our produce, chicken and eggs, I still volunteer to support the North Amherst Community Farm.  I’m asking you to join me in helping to promote local farming by making a financial contribution to NACF today.

Please show your support for local farms and community farming!

The North Amherst Community Farm is a community based non-profit organization which saved the land from development that is currently farmed by Simple Gifts Farm in North Amherst, MA.  Part of the NACF annual operating budget is based on gifts from our supporters and we are now at 72% of our fundraising goal for the year which ends June 30th, 2011.

Here are a few highlights of our recent activities:

  •  Amherst Town Meeting voted to give us $25,000 in Community Preservation Act funds to begin repair of the historic barn – future home of workshops, farm camp, community dances, music and more.
  • We hosted a fun day at the farm last Saturday – kids got to dig in the dirt, play with worms, and plant seeds for the new Children’s Garden and then hop aboard a hayride around the farm to meet the farm animals.
  • In July and August, we will partner with the Amherst Survival Center and Simple Gifts Farm to provide more fresh veggies and teach cooking classes at ASC.
  • And we are planning a full line up of educational programs again this summer, culminating with our annual Harvest Festival on September 18!

To help us continue this good work, please consider making a donation of $5.00, $50, or $500.oo to NACF online through Network for Good – just click on the button above – or use our mail in donation form.


A Brief History of North Amherst Community Farm

In 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.

What Do We Mean by a Community Farm?

NACF’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 NACF 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 distribution and the health of the environment.

Please join me in supporting this terrific community activity!  A donation of $25 will make you a member of the North Amherst Community Farm.

Organic Conference at UMass

If you live anywhere near Western Massachusetts, plan on attending the 36th annual summer conference of NOFA, the Northeast Organic Farmers Association, at the Universityof Massachusetts to be held August 13 to 15 in Amherst, MA.  The conference will kick off with a Raw Milk Symposium, and continue with hundreds of workshops geared to farmers and gardeners, consumers, home cooks or anyone with an interest in topics such as sustainability, local agriculture and nutrition.   For more information click here.