5 hours, 2 vacant lots, 70 volunteers, 4 wheelbarrows, dozens of shovels and rakes, tray upon tray of seedlings, a ton of passion for bringing fresh food to people who otherwise wouldn't have it, and a farm is born. Mark your calendar, because today, July 17, 2011 the first two parcels of New Haven Farms have sprouted to life.
There is an incredible movement across the nation, and around the world to bring the process of growing and eating fresh food back into people's lives, and the city of New Haven is no exception. In fact there are quite a few schools and organizations here who are doing just that. This new group, New Haven Farms started earlier this year as a result of the successful garden at the Fair Haven Community Health Center as part of their diabetes prevention program and a partnership with the local bakery, Chabasso who donated the land. The new farms are located on vacant lots, donated and leased by the city and will grow food as part of a low cost Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) modeled farm where shareholders will get a weekly portion of produce from the farm's harvest. "New Haven Farms’ mission is to promote health and community development through urban agriculture."
The amount of work and commitment that went into making this day possible was incredible, and it showed. A dedicated group of local volunteers have spent months refining a vision, acquiring land, testing soil, and finding donations of tools and soil. Students from the Fair Haven School grew the seedlings in their roof top greenhouse and volunteers from around the city, and around the world helped to build and plant the garden today. What is next? Well, we'll have to watch it grow and lend another hand when needed...
Maria-Luz - checking in with her children while planting tomatoes, helps out in the
Fair Haven Health Center Garden and lent a hand establishing the new farm!
Rebecca Kline, the passionate leader of this project taking a moment
to bask in the glory of this new beginning.
As if a new urban farm wasn't enough, 3 new school gardens are getting started this summer... more posts on that soon.