Chatting it up with Nasturiams galore, Montview Neighborhood Farm, Northampton
We’re nearing the end of our tour around the Northeast. Northampton, Mass has been another great, yet brief, stop along the way. With visits to Nuestras Raices in Holyoke and to the Montview Neighborhood Farm, our two days here were filled with great gardens and great hosts to put it all in perspective.
At Nuestras Raices, an organization with a dozen or so community gardens, we were able to hang out at one of their newer projects – the Tierra de Opportunidad – a demonstration farm complete with goats, pigs and a pony. TOP is a resource for new and experienced farmers – many of whom are Puerto Rican immigrants or first generation Americans. We were fortunate to talk to Angel, a youth farmer who’s been working with Nuestras Raices for the past ten years.
At Montview, we chatted with Paige, one of three women founders of a unique urban farm that practices ‘no till’ agriculture. The farm is ‘human-powered’ – meaning it does not use any machinery in their operations. Members of their CSA are asked to pick up their shares by bike or other non-fossil -fuel-related transport. They had a lot of sheet mulch – layers of cardboard and mulch – and permanent beds. Paige is a big fan of permaculture and has plans for a forest garden and more perennial vegetables. They sell directly to the neighborhood and will be starting to deliver vegetables by bike to their members.
We’re now headed to Lincoln, Mass – Northwest of Boston – to a suburban farm that is part of the Food Project. Looking up directions on google maps, we discovered that we’ll be right next to Walden Pond. So talking to more farmers and then camping in Emerson’s midst! Then to Boston for a visit to the Food Project’s Dorchester urban farm.