The Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. NOFA/Mass welcomes everyone who cares about food, where it comes from and how it’s grown

Growing Organically Since 1982

Food Access

Food Access For All

We believe that organic growing can take place everywhere and assist all populations in accessing healthy food. Our Food Access program strives to assist communities of color struggling with structural racism; health disparities, few or poorly functioning supermarkets, and poverty. Together we work to grow healthy food through organic growing education, support for community gardens and partnering with local organizations to use urban gardening to increase food access.

NOFA/Mass, through programming in Springfield and Boston, has been able to assist in curbing aspects of food insecurity.

Ray examining soil

MDAR Urban Specialty Crops (Boston, MA)

In the Boston area, we have partnered with Groundwork Somerville and Trustees Boston to coordinate growing urban specialty and culturally appropriate crops such as callaloo, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and others that are consumed by many immigrants and communities of color. NOFA/Mass incorporates techniques used by leading soil scientists to increase soil fertility and plant yields. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), through the Federal Specialty Crop Block Grant, is the sponsoring granting organization behind this effort.

Groundwork Somerville, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has been making change happen in Somerville, Massachusetts since 2000. Through community engagement, environmental and open space improvements, fresh food access, youth education, and employment initiatives, Groundwork creates the building blocks of a healthy community, and empowers residents to improve their quality of life. Groundwork achieves results by engaging the whole community – residents, youth, nonprofits, government and businesses. The South Street Farm serves as one of the case study locations where this joint project to improve soil fertility and subsequent food quality in urban settings is being actualized.

Trustees Boston and City Natives are a part of the Trustees’ massive community garden network. City Natives serves as The Trustees’ native plant nursery and horticultural learning center for the people of Boston and beyond. City Natives provides the second site for the NOFA/Mass Urban Specialty Crop grant program with MDAR. Since it is located in the heart of Mattapan, a diverse cultural community, it is a perfect place to utilize these soil fertility techniques to increase and improve the production of these culturally appropriate crops.

Urban Gardening Training Program (Springfield, MA)

In Springfield NOFA/Mass has started a program to help build the skills of resident and community gardeners. This program will bring a wealth of information from community partners, NOFA/Mass farmers, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and local urban growers together to help six Mason Square residents build the tools to succeed as community garden specialists and teachers.

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