9 Reasons to Support our 9th Season

As we look back on 2017, we reflect on what it means to run a community farm in a charged political climate where spaces for people to gather are becoming increasingly scarce. Massaro Community Farm strives to create a place where people can come together over our common bond of food. 
As a nonprofit farm, we rely on food subscriptions, donations and grants to preserve a historic farm and bring you quality food and programming. 
Since 2010, our tiny team of farm growers, volunteers, and advocates have worked to reclaim and improve 57 acres of farmland on the unifying line of Ansonia and Woodbridge, while bringing quality produce to ALL, including those facing food insecurity.
If you value the work we do, donate or sign up for a 2018 seasonal subscription, if you haven’t already. We are on track to cultivate 10 acres of farmland with organic vegetables in 2018, to engage 5,000 community members on the farm, and to donate more than $20,000 worth of produce to families in need.  Below are 9 reasons to give as we enter our 9th season of growing and giving back at Massaro Community Farm.
1. Massaro Farm allocates at least 10% of what we grow to alleviate the 1 in 8 adults and 1 in 6 children who are food insecure across CT. The produce we donate – ~10,000 pounds in 2017 – includes a diverse selection of crops for recipients who otherwise might not be able to afford it at the market.
2.  The farm partners with CT Food Bank in its Farm2Pantry program, gleaning produce that might otherwise be lost or end up on the compost pile.
3. The farm prides itself on practicing sustainable agroecology, relying on complex natural systems to improve the soil, maximize yield and minimize waste.
4.  Believe it or not, growing a diverse mix of vegetables qualifies as ‘specialty crop production’ under USDA practices. By growing 40-50 different varieties of produce, we strengthen the polyculture of farming, creating a more resilient food system and ensuring against crop failure.
5.  Farm workers are some of lowest paid in our nation and yet they are at the root of our multi-billion dollar food system. At Massaro Community Farm we strive to pay our staff a fair living wage while minimizing their exposure to harmful chemicals.
6.  In our busy lives, laden with responsibilities, Massaro Community Farm exists to create a safe space of learning, inspiration and fun for ALL. Peruse and taste the vegetables and herbs in our Learning Garden or enjoy a walk on the Nature Trail, open 365 days a year.
7.  Each year, Massaro Community Farm brings you a variety of opportunities to explore the farm and learn about produce that thrives in our climate and how to use it. These opportunities include workshops on growing and beekeeping, to community-wide events like our spring plant sale and fall harvest festivals.
*FoodCorps is an Americorps civil service program.
8.  While our goal is ultimately to have people visit and enjoy the farm, not everyone can make it to the farm easily. Our outreach efforts include hosting a FoodCorps* service member who provides garden and nutrition education, and supports school and community gardens to improve health across the Lower Naugatuck Valley.
9.  Each year Massaro Community Farm hosts more than 1,000 students on the farm – regardless of ability to pay – in curriculum-based education about growing and eating vegetables. 
Did you know? Massaro Community Farm can help you create a legacy of farm conservation and food access for all. Will you consider naming Massaro Community Farm in your will? For more information, please contact executive director, Caty Poole via email or by calling 203-736-8618.

Farmer Steve with bins of produce to be donated to CT Food Bank.
We’ve just released our 2017 Annual Report, which includes highlights of this year on the farm. We got to oversee more farm improvements, saw many new faces on the farm – staff and volunteers, and hosted a visit by farm family descendant, Jim Massaro. Of course we take the most pride in fulfilling our mission to
Keep Farming, Feed People and Build Community.

This is a time of reflection and planning for most farmers. We do get a little more rest this time of year than in June or July. But like most of you, we are also trying to learn to make the most of the coming year. 
To feed your foodie appetite during these short, cold days, enjoy the following:
  • Civil Eats – enjoy thought-provoking articles invoking critical thought about the American food system. Five free articles before you are asked to subscribe.
  • The Table Underground – listen to podcasts on food and social justice from New Haven’s own chef, advocate and foodie, Tagan Engel. Don’t miss this piece highlighting what farmer’s are up to during the winter months, featuring Massaro’s farm manager Steve Munno.
  • Gather at the Woodbridge Library for a winter time Cooking Classwith a registered dietician or join a Community Potluck, co-sponsored by Massaro Community Farm (This event is free but space is limited; please register ahead of time!).
  • View the recently released documentary, Look & See, a documentary of farmer, poet, philosopher and advocate Wendell Berry. The film is available for viewing on Netflix.
The farm thanks this year’s event sponsors and supporters.  
    The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven
The MFUNd * William & Jeannie Graustein
The La Tronica Family
(Fair Winds Farm, Lock Stock & Barrel & The UPS Store)
Crippled Children’s Fund * PepsiCo. 
Paul & Judith DeCoster * Southern CT State University
Buckley, Wynne & Parese *
 Laticrete International  * Griffin Hospital
Real Living-Wareck D’Ostillio 
The Kayne Family
The Valley Community Foundation * Stihl
BIC Corporation * 
Coldwell Banker Real Estate
Hocon Gas, Inc. * Schaefer Inspection Services
Wells Fargo 

A-1 Toyota * Ciola Excavation LLC * Guido & Anne Calibrese * Nancy Daoud
Encon * Jacobi, Case & Speranzini PC * Serv-Pro of Milford-Orange-Sratford
Marcus Insurance *
 Stop & Shop