One of the current four-legged residents of the property owned by the North Amherst Community Farm and managed by Simple Gifts is….
You can see Pig Floyd if you stop by the new Simple Gifts Farm Stand at 1089 North Pleasant St. from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm weekdays and 8:00 am – 7:00 pm on weekends. You can also buy local meat products and much more at the new Farm Stand!
But did you know that raising animals to sell as local meat products is by no means a new venture on this property? In fact, if you were to transport yourself back to North
Amherst during the American Civil War, you would find livestock being raised on the farm to be sold locally.
The house was built for Zaccheus Ingram, who was a widower and had married the widow Annice Wait Smith in September 1833. Farming in the Pioneer Valley at this time was in transition from subsistence with mixed grain and livestock to a more market-oriented approach, both for local sales and later for shipping to Boston and New York. The Ingram-Dickinson farm comprises about 40 acres on the corner of North Pleasant and Pine St. and the house itself has been occupied continuously by farmers and farm families for almost two centuries!
In 1860, Harriet Lucretia Ingram, granddaughter of Zacchaeus and Annice, married her immediate neighbor, David Guertin, a local butcher and meat dealer. The Guertin family lived in the house just south of the property. In fact, the Ingrams and Guertin’s owned farm properties all along North Pleasant St. at this time.
The farm remained in crops and livestock well past the death of David Guertin in 1887, as Harriet and her son Albert continued to provide local meat products the the citizens of Amherst. An advertisement in the Amherst Director of 1886-1887 reads…
If you drive by the farm today on Pine St., you can often see chickens, cattle and pigs grazing the fields. Or better yet, stop in at the new Farm Stand on North Pleasant and take a walk up the farm road. The livestock are managed by Simple Gifts Farm (SGF). NACF selected Simple Gifts Farm as a long term tenant because of their commitment to sustainable farming practices and their strong interest in engaging with the community.
Simple Gifts Farm is a partnership of Jeremy Barker-Plotkin and David Tepfer. Both Jeremy’s and David’s families live in houses adjacent to the farm and farm apprentices live in the home originally occupied by the Ingram family in 1830. These young women and men are continuing the tradition of local farming in North Amherst, Massachusetts..
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 the 30+ acre farm property in North Amherst, MA owned by NACF and leased to Simple Gifts Farm