We are Gearing Up to take Part in

Valley Gives

may 2, 2017 - Mark Your Calendars!!

 

Please consider making a donation to help us:

Increase access to our CSA Shares.

Nourish the enduring connections of humans and nature through agriculture.
 

“Thank you, always, for what you all do for the shareholders, the Earth, and everyone else all around.” Ricci Mastroianni, Kindergarten Teacher, Wildwood Elementary

“The program was a huge success!  The families have already asked if they could participate next year.” - Francine Rodriguez, Family Outreach of Amherst

“I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you about my time at Brookfield - largely related to it being one of the best educational experiences I've had.” Lisa McKeag, past apprentice, now educator for UMASS extention

Our farm has been producing healthy local vegetables for over 30 years. We are a pioneering CSA, having been created in 1986 as the 3rd project in the USA. Since that time we have grown to over 600 supporting families who annually support the production of over 250,000 lbs of vegetables, fruits, and flowers - all grown in a manner which leaves our soil better than we found it.

But there's a lot more to our farm than just vegetables. We seek out as many opportunities as we can to use our farm to promote the ideals that stand behind all of those tons of food. We welcome kindergarteners to participate in the cycle of food production on the farm - from compost to carrots to pigs. We welcome volunteers on our harvest crew. We give workshops at farmer conferences. We train 3 apprentices in farm management every season. We encourage the wider community use our open spaces for recreation, contemplation, and art creation!

We are also always looking for ways to expand our CSA membership to a diverse and involved community. In 2015, through the support of a generous, unsolicited gift, we started our Donor Supported Share Fund (DSSF), which enable families who don't have the means to completely pay for a share, to still join us to share the harvest.  We worked with Family Outreach Amherst (FOA) to identify qualified families who are excited to share the harvest. FOA also provides transport to the farm so they can join us for not only distribution but for all the activities members enjoy: dinners, dances, picking, storytime, etc.  In our initial season, we've opened the farm to kids who never before patted a piglet, to first-generation immigrants who can find the best strawberries even though they are blind, and parents who are thrilled to add fresh greens to their kids’ meals.  But there are more who want to join. We hope to welcome as many of those on the wait list as your donations make possible!

Let’s get one thing straight: Our farm production runs fully on the money we charge for CSA shares. That is, we figure out what it costs to produce all of the food we grow and then we divide it by the number of families we think we can feed. That’s the share price. It covers costs of production – seeds, labor, fuel, capital loans, etc. We think it’s important that this con­cept is central to our financial picture as a production farm. We want this farm to be replicable in as many situations as possible But all of the “other” activities that we participate in, which we generally call “outreach” – school groups, community involvement, Donor Supported Shares, etc – are paid for by soliciting donations from our community (far and wide). We keep the streams separate so we can know our true costs of produc­tion, have people pay for it, and then build our outreach work with other sources of support.

This year we will split (50/50) our proceeds from Valley Gives to fund “general outreach” and Donor Supported Share Fund.

What your donations will help to fund:

Outreach to train farmers to use sustainable growing techniques

Increasing access to our shares through our Donor Supported Share Fund

Learners of all ages to us the farm for educational purposes.

Training participants in our apprentice program who go onto work as assistant managers at top farms or started their own operations.

Infrastructure improvements like installation of solar pv panels to generate our own electricity

Thanks for considering supporting us on