Fairgate Farm is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven urban farm nestled within the Vita Health & Wellness District in the West Side neighborhood of Stamford, Connecticut. Our mission is to provide equitable access to locally grown produce and to strengthen the community by celebrating healthy food through gardening, educational and harvest related initiatives.
As we complete our 10th growing season, Fairgate Farm extends its appreciation to our many community partners and donors, and most importantly our volunteers, who have contributed to a previously unimaginable farm season. Having to ‘rethink’ nearly every facet of its normal mode of operation to safely accommodate the COVID pandemic, we have been able to operate successfully and, in fact, have had a banner year!
As a keystone in Stamford’s community-driven, local food system, the Fairgate Farm Market has completed its very successful third season. Serving our patrons through a new online ordering system with curbside pickup ensured that we remain a safe food resource for those in need. The Market offered Fairgate Farm produce along with a variety of delicious fruits and vegetables from our partner farms. Record breaking numbers of over 8,287 pounds of fresh produce were distributed in 2020!
Our mission has never been more important to the Stamford community as we remain dedicated to meeting its needs. Fairgate Farm received a $10,000 grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation to directly provide food to families in desperate need during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis. Families from the Vita Parents as Co-Educators program were identified as being particularly food insecure and were provided much needed food staples. The remaining emergency funds were used to fund financial assistance to the patrons utilizing the no-pay assistance option at the Farm Market. In addition, a grant from the MAV Foundation allowed us to match SNAP benefits, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program assistance.
Our volunteers have also stood by us as we moved to an on-line reservation system for volunteer participation adhering to the guidelines and practices recommended by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and the CDC. We welcomed a youth group and many individuals who contributed over 855 hours assisting us to grow over 4,805 pounds of produce this year. But remember, there is still plenty of work to do as we put the farm to sleep and prepare for myriad off-season activities.
Fairgate Farm was the recipient of the 2020 Connecticut Farm Viability and AARP Community Challenge grants. Be sure to drive by the Farm and see the new improvements these grants have made. A new climate-controlled greenhouse will allow us to grow crops year-round and support the local food system throughout the off-season. The AARP grant has given us the opportunity to install an ADA-compliant pathway extending from the Farm entrance around the perimeter of the farm along with benches, picnic tables, a bicycle rack and elevated garden beds for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy comfortably.
For 2020, we moved our educational classes from our grapevine shaded, outdoor classroom to a virtual space to help individuals stay engaged while helping our Farm community continue to grow. Be sure to review your emails, Facebook and Instagram accounts for continued photos and informative videos of farm activity.
Our expanded Composting Initiative has diverted over 10 tons of food waste from landfills! We will continue to accept food waste during the cold months. If the gate is closed, feel free to deposit your materials in the black trailer over the fence into our cart, and we will take it from there. We are grateful for your compostable materials so we may grow a sustainable community.
The team at Fairgate Farm wishes a warm Thank you to our incredible team of volunteers, community partners and Farm Market supporters. We could not do what we do without all of you!