Farming and Harvesting Fresh Produce to Feed our Neighbors in Need.
1 in 3 residents in Southeastern MA is food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal will come from, and despite their best efforts, food pantries struggle to source more than shelf-stable foods. Frogfoot Farm – Neighbors Feeding Neighbors will grow and harvest fresh produce for our regional food system.
Incubated within our Southcoast Food Policy Council and in response to the 2021 Food System Assessment of Southeastern MA, Frogfoot Farm will grow, farm, and harvest food for neighbors in need across Southeastern MA (Bristol, Plymouth, and Norfolk counties). A.D. Makepeace has generously committed use of six acres of land, along with soil improvements and irrigation. The Marion Institute must fundraise to support all other costs associated with designing, managing, and operating farm operations, which include:
- Growing fresh, culturally relevant produce, and
- Establishing a volunteer gleaning program to harvest food from area farms that would otherwise go to waste in the field. Every year, thousands of pounds of food go to waste because farmers either do not have the labor to harvest a crop or the market to sell it to. The Marion Institute’s trained gleaners will work with regional farmers to harvest the crop before it’s lost, and deliver it to local food pantries or commercial kitchens to be made into prepared meals for food-insecure individuals and families.
Operations at Frogfoot Farm will turn two critical food system gaps in the region – access to fresh produce in food relief programs and food waste – into one solution, in one location.
This program builds upon the Marion Institute’s long history of incubating local food initiatives, our belief in the power of food as medicine, and the important role nutrition plays in supporting individual and community health.
Once we reach steady-state production and gleaning, we anticipate harvesting 300,000 pounds of produce annually for the regional food relief system.
Frogfoot Farm operations will launch in 2024 and employ climate friendly, regenerative farming practices to protect soil life while ensuring plants, wildlife, and the environment thrive within the agricultural system.
The farm plan is in development and includes putting one to three acres of land in production during the first couple of years. Fundraising success will dictate our growth rate. Please consider getting involved and make Frogfoot your community farm too!
- Biodiverse Pollinator Hedging ($15,000 – Fully Funded)
Establishing native buffers around the farm to increase habitat for pollinators (i.e., bees, ants, flies, moths, and beetles), which will in turn nourish the crops we plant.
- Fencing & Gates ($60,000 – Fully Funded)
We need fencing with gates tall enough (~eight feet high) to exclude deer that is also durable at the ground-level to prevent small animals from accessing our crops.
- Greenhouse ($20,000)
A greenhouse with a thermostat, grow lights, heater, and fan will enable us to grow and protect our own seeds, and increase crop production.
- Walk-in Refrigerator ($40,000)
Keeping produce fresh as we wait for scheduled distribution to area food pantries is a key element of our farm-to-food relief operation.
- Farm Equipment ($3,000)
Shovels, rakes, pitchforks, gloves, compost and produce bins, etc. – we need them all – and we welcome donations of used materials that remain in good shape, as well as the option to purchase new
- Adopt-a-Row of Produce (Full row $1,000, ½ row $500, ¼ row $250)
This supports the farm’s year round efforts to plant, grow, care for, and harvest produce for our neighbors in need.
As it gets up and running in 2024, Frogfoot Farm – Neighbors Feeding Neighbors will work collaboratively with our Southcoast Food Policy Council’s partner organizations and stakeholders who themselves work diligently to increase access to fresh, nutrient-dense food for all.