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The farm store — a wonderful community resource in 2020

The farm store — a wonderful community resource in 2020, tough though it was, had some silver linings. Many of us spent more time talking to friends in faraway places; we put less carbon into the atmosphere; and we even found that some people do better with remote working than they do in classrooms or offices.  Well, there have been some silver linings for Simple Gifts Farm and our farm community as well.

People have seen the store Simple Gifts Store as a convenient and very safe place to shop. It was heartening to see the local food system demonstrate resilience in the face of crisis in global supply chains.  Sales activity really spiked in the first month or two after the pandemic’s onset and then tapered as the summer approached and people felt more comfortable re-entering supermarkets. In the fall, SGF did a burst of strategic marketing that bumped sales back up. Over the year, sales activity at the farm store almost doubled and that was reassuring to our farmers.

To order from Simple Gifts Farm Store online go to; https://www.simplegiftsfarmcsa.com/store/

Local people have seen the store as a convenient and very safe place to shop — especially with the on-line ordering for site pick-up. Farmer Jeremy says it was inspiring to see the extent to which the local food system demonstrated resilience in the face of crisis in global supply chains.  The local food movement has long touted the value of shorter supply chains, and the pandemic certainly demonstrated those benefits.  The hope is that people’s habits have changed and that the increased support for local food continues to be strong.

Simple Gifts Farm has also consolidated their farm crew — no longer using farm apprentice-type labor, they have built a more permanent and more skilled workforce. With this they have been developing more sophisticated methods including no-till and low-till planting. Transplanted seedlings are dropped straight into a mulch-covered ground prepared the previous fall.

The great benefit in low soil tillage is that it retains soil fertility because micro-organisms are not disturbed, and soil organic material is not lost.  Farmer Dave explained that “tilling soil is like running a woodstove with the draft gate wide open: it “burns” faster”. Tilling the soil means that soil-retained carbon is lost back to the atmosphere — not the place we want to see it going these days.  Low-tillage operations on the other hand retain soil carbon and also involve less soil erosion.

SGF is practicing a more and more sustainable agriculture — and BTW have you tasted their carrots? They are sweeter than ever!

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THANK YOU ALL FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE

NACF continues our effort to improve the farm experience for our farm community, and we will continue to tell when and how you can help us.

You can support us with a DONATION at nacfonline.org or by clicking on the “DONATE” button below

DONATE

FOR MORE INFORMATION please contact — Bruce Coldham at bcoldham155@comcast.net

A year on — and what a year!

Our renovated farmhouse has entered its second year of active duty, and what a year. And what a life-line it has been for the farm. The arrival of the coronavirus and its associated stay-in-place orders has destroyed some businesses and severely hampered most others. SGF has had to adjust as well, but the expanded capacity of the farmhouse has meant that the essential farm labor force could live in a functional “bubble”, and this has been a lifesaver figuratively (and maybe also literally).

The seven occupants of the farmhouse live in two separate apartments with on-site access to all that needs to be done on the farm. They can and do perform their tasks safely and without the uncertainty associated with our current predicament.

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“For us it is a beautiful house imbued with the love and support of a community that really cares”.

Farm Manager Jada Haas says — “We want to be at peak performance so that we can keep our regenerative agricultural systems going, making them better and better. Having this place to live so close and so comfortable, even without the pandemic, it’s so important. But now we can’t imagine how we would be functioning without it”.

So we all have even more to be proud of. Last summer when we raised the “last dollar” to secure the farm and its farmhouse for posterity we knew we had done well. Now it seems that we have done even better and more than we thought.

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The farmhouse residents have their own intensive veggie patch

THANK YOU ALL FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE
NACF continues our effort to improve the farm experience for our farm community, and we will continue to tell when and how you can help us.

You can support us with a DONATION at nacfonline.org or by clicking on the “DONATE” button below

DONATE

FOR MORE INFORMATION — Bruce Coldham at bcoldham155@comcast.net

NACF supports the “Common Good”

commonlogoThe North Amherst Community Farm Board of Directors is pleased to be able to support the Common Good Project, which is a local effort to promote a Common Good Economy—a democratic, community-centered financial system the puts people and planet first, so that everyone has enough to eat, a home, healthcare, satisfying work, and a livable world.

The Common Good payment card which may be used at Simple Gifts farmstand generates funds for our community’s projects every time you use it.  Members decide together what to fund. It’s easy to use, easy to accept as payment. And there are no fees for either the buyer or the businesses.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Open an account online at CommonGood.earth
  2. Put some money in it.
  3. Use your card for purchases at Simple Gifts and a growing number of participating businesses.

Simple….

Like a bank, our community can invest money held in the accounts.  Unlike a bank (more…)

We burned the mortgage!

We “burned the mortgage”

September 20, 2016 was a big day! Having paid off the mortgage on the farm (thanks to all of our many donors), NACF celebrated!