Common Ground Farm
A Community Farm Project in Southern Dutchess County
Common Ground Farm is a farm project that serves our community as an educational model for people of all ages to learn how foods grow, how to raise ecologically sound crops without chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and how to keep farmland healthy for generations to come. As a working farm, we strive to interpret anew the agricultural experience and tradition that is a precious part of our nation's heritage.
Connecting New Yorkers to Nature
By providing our community with local, sustainable, and clean food, as well as the opportunity to work alongside professional growers, CGF offers people the unique experience of connecting to the land—the source of our food. Throughout the year we offer workshops for adults on topics such as composting, chicken raising and edible landscaping. In addition, our classes for children are designed to connect them to their land, and to see growing food on the farm, as a source of joy and fun. While we are a membership organization, we also open our gates to the public through our programming, open houses and farm tours.
Promote a Toxic Free Future
Our Farm Manager pledges the annual NOFA-NY Farmer’s Pledge Oath to maintain biological and chemical—free farming methodology.
Safeguard New York’s Unique Natural Assets
Our farm’s mission mandates that we will grow our food without chemical interventions. It is our belief that chemical farming degrades the earth, and our practices are designed to naturally fortify the health of the soil. Through crop rotation, the use of row covers to combat pest pressures, and the practice of cover-cropping, our Farm Manager not only ensures fertile soil, but maintains productive land, offering protections from an unnatural succession of invasive species. Further, we highlight these methods and demonstrate their effectiveness during farm tours, other farm-based programming, and young farmer training.
Work for Food Justice
Each year we work with the Green Teen Community Gardening Program, bringing teens onto the land to learn about farming and the food system. Since 2009 we have also partnered with the program to help run Common Greens, a mobile farmers market bringing reduced priced produce to seniors and low income families in Beacon. Through our Fair Share programs and our Mobile Market we work to ensure that healthy sustainable food, and access to the farm are available to everyone regardless of race, age, or gender, on a grass-roots level.
Combat Climate Change
At Common Ground Farm we employ low-impact, carbon-neutral growing practices. Through the use of hand tools and seasonal local produce provisions, we aim to offset the carbon footprint of our entire operation. Further, at our satellite operation at Obercreek we have erected a passive solar greenhouse which not only grows during the winter without fossil fuels, but provides locally grown sustenance for our community, reducing the need to rely on distant food sources during the winter. Currently demand exceeds our capacity and we plan to expand our ability to grow year-round for the community.
Foster Green and Healthy Communities
Through our Farmer Training Program we train youth first to grow organically, and then to work in and around the region in order to gain access for land stewardship. In addition, through our adult workshop series, our Farmer’s Market base, and our partnership with Green Teens we offer broad access to safe and healthy foods.