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We're planting fruit trees, grape vines, herbs and veggie gardens along our bike path, a park, and all over town... food for everyone! Read more

Northampton, MA Food
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on October 28, 2012.

We're planting fruit trees, grape vines, herbs and veggie gardens along our bike path, a park, and all over town... food for everyone!

Northampton, MA Food
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About this project

We asked: why can't there be an abundance of fruit, free for picking all around town? Why can't there be free veggies, flowers, herbs and medicine growing out of every nook and cranny... like folks do elsewhere in the world?

        A group of friends came together in the winter of 2011 to discuss the possibilities and potential of forests of free food for everyone in our neighborhood and beyond. We envisioned a project that could...

  • create an edible, delicious and nutritious public landscape bursting with free food
  • build and remediate tired city soil
  • increase biodiversity and pollinator habitat
  • create community through design, maintenance, and harvest
  • work with local youth and elders throughout the process
  • and educate and empower folks along the way!

It started to sound like a good idea.

       Beyond transforming our common spaces, we're hoping to start discussions about local food and economies. Having dozens of demonstration forest gardens around town will bring awareness, energy and enthusiasm about permaculture, community gardens and food systems out of folk's private backyards, and into the spaces we share.

The money we raise will be primarily for plants, ordered from local nurseries, as well as printing signs, buying salvaged lumber, compost, gardening tools, and doing soil tests.

IF IT'S CONVENIENT  PLEASE POST THIS LINK ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE! HELP SPREAD THE WORD!

Project Goals for Fall 2012 - Spring 2013

Transform much of downtown Northampton's empty spaces into common places, where fruit trees, perennial polycultures, and public veggie, flower, culinary and medicinal herb beds are the norm!

Bike Path Connector - community vineyard, fruit trees, raised beds

       For our pilot project, we picked the 700 foot long Bike Path Connector of the Manhan Rail Trail. It connects Conz St to Pleasant St, and is the backyard of 2 large apartment buildings.

     This fall, using funds we raise, we'll be planting a delicious line up of Concord grapes, heirloom apples and plums, climbing roses, chestnut trees, Asian pears, hazelnuts, culinary and medicinal herbs, and raised beds for annual veggies and flowers. We're putting in signs that encourage folks to use the garden spaces,  how to identify the abundant edible wild greens along the bike path... and to help themselves to the food!

Pulaski Park - demo forest garden, fruit trees, raised beds

     We're also putting in a educational forest garden in Pulaski Park, a high profile opportunity to bring the local food and permaculture movements out of folks' backyards, and into the public eye!

Garden & Fruit Tree 'Islands' Downtown

     If our fundraising is successful, we'll be so lucky as to plant over 50 fruit trees in the countless grass patches (medians, parking lots, etc.) around town. They'll have signs that identify them and encourage folks to eat, and companion plants beneath them -- including raised beds. This will also be an good opportunity to demonstrate successful fruit tree polycultures that could be grown in many urban settings. We want to open up the sandbox of permaculture to the larger community and inspire both backyard and public forest gardens.

     Inspired by the "Incredible, Edible Todmorden", a recently transformed town in the UK, we are looking forward to folks planting, tending, and harvesting from these mini garden plots, all for free. Below is one inspirational TED talk about this town that got us thinking.

Risks and challenges

Many of the areas we'd love to transform into gardens have soil that has been poisoned, salted, crushed, abused and neglected over the years. We are doing soil tests to ensure that we won't be putting in plants in places where they could uptake pollutants. We are excited to remediate some areas and make them healthy again using sunflowers and mushroom straw!
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We also are very conscious of the high profile nature of this project. We want the gardens and information to be accessible to all, with high quality, thoughtful designs - especially since we'll be relating with various departments of the city. As a group, we are confident we possess the design, communication and practical skills to pull this off sucessfully.
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We're also aware that maintenance, especially during the hot summer months, will be very important to protect the investment of the plants, and of course, their lives! We're setting up volunteer maintenance teams to tackle specific areas, so everyone has manageable tasks. We're connecting with local youth and youth organizations to help with this, and, depending on what funding we can generate later in the year, pay for their time while offering skills and education for the volunteers.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    9 backers

    Our gratitude, and thanks on our website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    36 backers

    Your name (or code-name) will appear on a 'sponsored by' sign next to a CONCORD GRAPE VINE, our gratitude, and thanks on our website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    47 backers

    We'll send you a hand made thank you card with paw paw seeds to plant. Your name (or code-name) will go on a donors plaque on the path, and on a 'sponsored by' sign next to a FRUIT OR NUT TREE.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    13 backers

    We'll send you a hand made water color thank you picture (featuring animal and plant of your choice) with paw-paw seeds to plant, your name (or code-name) will go on a donors plaque on the path, and on 'sponsored by' signs next to 2 FRUIT OR NUT TREES, and a thing-of-your-choice will get painted (6" big) into the community mural.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    9 backers

    2 FRUITING KOUSA DOGWOOD TREES!
    We'll send you a hand made water color thank you picture (featuring animal and plant of your choice) with paw-paw seeds to plant, your name (or code-name) will go on a donors plaque on the path, and on 'sponsored by' signs next to 2 FRUIT OR NUT TREES, and a thing-of-your-choice will get painted (6" big) into the community mural.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    9 backers

    ... AND a living grape vine. Your name (or code-name) will go on a donors plaque on the path, and on a 'sponsored by' sign next to 4 FRUIT AND NUT TREES, and a thing-of-your-choice will get painted (1 foot big) into the community mural.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers

    ... AND a persimmon tree, and a banana tree hardy to New England! Your name (or code-name) will go on a donors plaque on the path, and on a 'sponsored by' sign next to 10 FRUIT AND NUT TREES, and a thing-of-your-choice will get painted (2 feet big) into the community mural.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers

    ... AND a paw-paw tree, and 2 hardy kiwi vines! Your name (or code-name) will go on a donors plaque on the path, and on a 'sponsored by' sign next to 20 FRUIT AND NUT TREES, and a thing-of-your-choice will get painted (3 feet big) into the community mural.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers

    ... AND 3 more persimmon trees, 3 more pawpaw trees and 3 more hardy kiwis! Your name (or code-name) will go on a donors plaque on the path (big font), and on a 'sponsored by' sign next to 30 FRUIT TREES in town, and a thing-of-your-choice will get painted (4 feet big) into the community mural, and if you live in New England... we'll come cook you dinner at your home, make a cob oven in your yard, and bring 150$ of Tripple Brook Farm plants!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,012 or more

    0 backers

    ... AND 3 black walnut trees, and 3 chestnut trees! Your name (or code-name) will go on a donors plaque on the path (BIG font), and on a 'sponsored by' sign next to 40 FRUIT TREES AROUND TOWN!, a thing-of-your-choice will get painted (5 feet big) into the community mural... and we'll come cook you a local and wild food dinner for you, and put in 300$ worth of plants from Tripple Brook Farm, build you a cob oven in your yard!

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)