This month, Massaro Community Farm took the Food Solutions New England (FSNE) pledge, a commitment to creating a sustainable, just and resilient food system for all across our region. Individuals and businesses are invited to take this pledge to demonstrate a commitment to these values that will strengthen our regional food system. FSNE has a New England Food Vision “50 by 60,” which calls for our region to “build the capacity to produce at least 50% of our food by 2060 while supporting healthy food for all, sustainable farming and fishing, and thriving communities.” In addition to taking the pledge, the farm will participate in the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge next month; we invite all our supporters to join us in doing so. (See www.Foodsolutionsne.org/take-action.)
As consumers, we may overlook the people, communities and entities involved in a healthy food system. They include growers and producers, processors and manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, and community support agencies. Last year, we witnessed first-hand the breakdown in this network during the pandemic as businesses closed, jobs were lost, and marginalized communities struggled to put healthy food on the table. In taking the pledge, you can add your voice to the network working to transform New England’s food system.
What the pledge means for Massaro: First and foremost, as a certified organic farm, we use regenerative and sustainable practices to ensure the well-being of the farmland ecology we steward, the farmers who work the land, and the surrounding community, including those who visit the farm for programs and events. Our farming methods improve the soil rather than deplete it, while also creating habitat and providing resources for native bees, pollinators and wildlife. In doing so, we take small steps to improve the health and resilience of our local and regional food system.
We partner with agencies and businesses that provide healthy working conditions and livable wages for employees. We seek out and support organizations owned by black, indigenous, and people of color and make farm-based education accessible to all. We remain committed to donating fresh produce to hunger relief in our community and encourage others to spend more of their food budget on local/regional products whenever possible.
Finally, we continue to learn and to share our knowledge. When you attend a workshop at the farm or your children participate in a farm enrichment program, you become a member of this network working toward a bold vision. In 2021, we’ll take this knowledge into the surrounding neighborhoods at the Grow Your Own community gardens across the Lower Naugatuck Valley. If you have a skill you wish to share or would like to be part of the garden community, call our farm office at (203) 736-8618.
How the program is administered: Food Solutions New England consists of a small team of staff based at the University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute. Their actions are guided by a Steering Committee that meets monthly, and a broader Network Team drawn from network participants. Farm manager Steve Munno served as a farmer representative from Connecticut for several of the early FSNE summits and has continued to follow the growth of their efforts and activities.
We invite you to follow along – or take the 21-day challenge yourself – as we embark on this shared journey of learning, expanding our knowledge, and charting a course to build a more just food system.
Registration open for Summer Camp and other farm programs: The farm is pleased to announce that registration is now open for a full-day summer camp program for the weeks of July 12-August 9. The program will accept campers ages 4-11. Spaces are limited to observe current health practices so register early! The farm is also accepting Care4Kids in 2021 and will supply free lunch to qualifying families, thanks to a partnership with Ansonia School District. Registration can be done online or by download a form from our website:www.MassaroFarm.org.
Registration is also open for a number of other upcoming activities including workshops in backyard beekeeping, gardening and more. Please visit our page for a calendar of upcoming events including workshops, outdoor movies and concerts; sign up for our newsletter to receive early registration and purchase details.
Massaro Community Farm is a non-profit, certified organic community farm on 57 acres of land whose mission is to keep farming, feed people, and build community. In addition to growing vegetables for seasonal subscribers, the farm donates thousands of pounds each year to hunger relief. The farm serves as a hub of education for all ages and shares its space with the community. The farm’s nature trail is open to the public 365 days a year. For more information, visit our website at www.MassaroFarm.org or contact Executive Director Caty Poole at 203-736-8618 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.