Savoring Summer

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the garden is growing! The Food For All team has been working hard both in and outside the garden.

At the garden, food has been coming out and seeds are going in! Our potatoes were 11807223_10154121364628136_4856684636349102913_opulled and harvested at our last volunteer days. We think about 40 pounds of gold and about 20 pounds of both red and blue potatoes were harvested. This food will find its way to CHD’s Not Bread Alone, The Amherst Survival Center, and community members and volunteers alike. Potatoes are a great crop for us to grow- they’re low maintenance, and can be stored for long periods of time.

In place of the potatoes, our garden manager Jason created some raised beds. In its place were planning to plant some late season crops: lettuce, carrots, beets, and broccoli. Come join us at volunteer hours to help put some of these in the ground! Our last one (for the summer season, at least) is August 25th 10am-12pm.

IMG_0046In the next coming days and weeks, we’ll be doing a couple things. First, our carrots are nearly ready to come out of the ground- hopefully within the next coming days! We have three beds of carrots each holding three rows. In addition, our onions are also ready to come out of the ground! Our smaller variety of onions still need a couple weeks to mature. We also have a large amount of kale at the far end of the garden bursting with leaves and ready to be harvested! This season we grew two kinds of varieties, including Red Russian and the classic Green Curly. Our kale plants will continue to grow well into the fall, and can even withstand some snow.

Our sunflowers are blooming, our herbs, including Thyme, Basil, and Sage are growing steadily, and the garden bursts with more life everyday!  Outside of food production, the Food For All team has been hosting and planning some different community activities.

2015-07-29 15.25.18Two of Sarah’s summer courses stopped by for two days, helping to harvest and
weed our garden, while also participating in a discussion with the Western Mass Food Bank about food policy and food security. Volunteer days have been successful with good company and good snacks, and the Food For All team continues to meet and ruminate over new ideas.

With harvesIMG_0038table crops appearing our education team is planning workshops, partnering with Not Bread Alone, and our volunteers, to continue to learn and work hard rowing food
for the food banks and kitchens in our community.
Hope to see you soon!

– Brian, Food For All Education Team


Approaching Summer at Food For All

The season is flying by and we’ve been busy planning and planting the garden with crops for our second season.  This year, UMass Sustainable Food and Farming student Jason DePecol, has taken over as Production Manager of Food For All Gardens.  We are grateful to have him on board!  In just one month he has filled the garden with food (with the help of friends, fellow students, and community members)!  Slide1

This year, we are hosting VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS every other week on Tuesdays and Fridays 10am-12pm.  Our next one is THIS FRIDAY June 19th.  During our first two workdays, we put a call out to the community and were delighted to have help from local community members, students and friends.  We planted TONS of onions, shared good conversation and enjoyed some iced tea and snacks together.

Brian Horrocks and Emma Golden planting basil

Brian Horrocks and Emma Golden planting basil

We learned a lot in our first season and are excited to work even more closely with CHD’s Not Bread Alone and Amherst Survival Center this year to fulfill our mission of growing food with and for these community centers as well as providing meaningful community education opportunities.  Plus, we are excited to enjoy some deeee-licious meals at both places that feature our food!

Brian Horrocks and Emma Golden, both UMass students, are helping as community education leaders this season.   We are excited to continue with our workshops this summer and are working with Not Bread Alone and Amherst Survival Center to complement meal times and other community events.

Bob Stover (Not Bread Alone), Jason DePecol, and Brian Horrocks

Bob Stover (Not Bread Alone), Jason DePecol, and Brian Horrocks

STAY TUNED for more details about our workshops. We are calling all community members…WE NEED YOUR HELP to make this happen!

Join us for a volunteer day and help spread the word.  We’re located at 911 North Pleasant Street in Amherst. If you’d like to get involved or be added to our mailing list, contact us:

Bountiful Harvests and Community Fun

2014-08-18 18.02.21 The last month has sure been abundant with veggies to harvest and deliver…so bounteous that we are working on PRESERVING them! In July we kicked off our Workshop Series with a tour, where community members were so interested and enthused, they joined us in the rain for a tour! The conversation continued with a PANEL AND POTLUCK held at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment.  In our discussion we were joined by some local wisdom and experience.  Mindy Domb (Amherst Survival Center), Sara Tower (New Lands Farm), Jonathan Surrency (Nuestras Raices), and Lisa Damon (Massachusetts Farm to School) discussed their greatest inspirations and struggles in their work in our local food system.  With a focus on action, we discussed how any community member can get involved to improve their local food system.  The conversation was followed by some feasting with a DELICIOUS potluck.  The Hitchcock Center was buzzing with excitement, community connection, and good conversation.  2014-08-18 17.48.21

The fun continued on Monday August 18th with our PRESERVING THE HARVEST workshop at CHD’s Not Bread Alone.  Bob Stover, NBA Program Supervisor, welcomed us hosted the event in their space.  There were 3 stations: pesto making (led by Sarah Berquist), jam making (Peg Thibbitts of Harvest Market), and Fermentation Station( Costa Boutsikaris and Erin Ferrentino).  All who attended got to taste some locally made preserved goodness and then make some to take home! Recipes, ideas, do’s and don’t’s, and laughs were shared.

dt.common.streams.StreamServerThis month we’ve been grateful to receive some new faces as volunteers. The Hampshire Gazzette wrote a lovely article about our project, you can see it here.

Our current volunteer times Tues and Thurs 9-12 and Weds 11-2 will be shifting slightly come September-stay tuned!  Until then, join us and bask in the bounty and beauty of August!

THANK YOU to all our community agencies who help make it happen, volunteers, community members and friends for your support! 

Kicking off!


In spite of a blast of July thunderstorms and strong sun-showers, a wonderful handful of community members joined us for our Kickoff Celebration at the Food For All Garden yesterday.  Our hope was to bring in some new faces to the garden and celebrate its gorgeous growth.  We began by gathering over some garden-fresh snacks and local iced tea (thanks to Bajrang Teas!) and snuck in a rapid tour of the gardens with Cate before the rain washed us out.  Continuing the conversation indoors, we heard from representatives of the Amherst Survival Center and Not Bread Alone about how these organizations operate.20140727_132641

One of the most exciting aspects of our work is the seemingly boundless POTENTIAL.  These organizations do more than provide food to people..they make Amherst and the Pioneer Valley a place to call home by cultivating community. Beyond the food donated are the conversations shared over the food, the friendships made and sense of place and belonging provided by being a part of a loving community.  We are excited to continue the conversation, please join us for our PANEL where we will dive into some of these issues hearing from a diverse representation of local food systems experts.

Wednesdsay July 30th 5:30-7, followed by a potluck~ feel welcome to bring a dish and/or beverage( non-alcoholic) to share! Free at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment

Welcoming summer with a picnic


Last week, the Amherst Survival Center had their first field trip to the Food For All Garden.  Cate and Sarah gave a short tour, explained the history and goals of the project and eagerly heard suggestions in how to continue to improve our work. The tour was followed by a delicious picnic with yummy sandwiches and cold drinks provided by Tracey from Amherst Survival Center.

2014-06-18 12.01.43Since this project is still very young in its first season, we every day we are trying new experiments, observing, and refining and so the cycle goes.  It was exciting to have a nice handful of Amherst Survival Center community members present at our event and celebrate how the plants are finally growing! Our mission is to provide not only food but also education and opportunity to our community, our volunteer hour2014-06-18 12.44.37s strive to offer a chance for someone who perhaps may not have a garden or just wants to spend some time working with plants.


Our tasks and work range from the ordinary farm tasks to planting apple trees, making herb spirals, and more! We are excited for this farm-garden fusion to deepen its roots in the community and want your help and ideas!  Join us!  Tuesdays & Thursdays 9-12 and Wednesdays 11-2.  All are welcome to come for any or all of the volunteer time, and if you’d like to schedule an alternate time

Also, SAVE THE DATES  our summer workshop series starts SOON! See our EVENTS page!


Volunteer & Join the Fun!

We are excited to be getting all our transplants in the ground and begin to watch them GROW GROW GROW.  After enjoying a delicious meal at Amherst Survival Center, we’re looking forward to filling their meals and distribution with some more delicious organic veggies.

2014-05-16 17.35.31

Want to join us? Our VOLUNTEER HOURS are Tuesdays & Thursdays 9-12 and Wednesdays 11-2.  Bring a friend and spread the word!

Getting to the Garden

Address: 911 North Pleasant St, Amherst MA

We are located in a field behind the Wysocki House at the UMass Agricultural Learning Center. Food For All is not visible from the road but is easy to access.

Coming from Town Center:
Head North on North Pleasant Street to intersection with Triangle Street (.25 mile)
Take Left to stay on North Pleasant St (@ Bertuccis) and go 1.5 miles
At Traffic Circle continue Straight to Stay on North Pleasant St go 1/4 mile
Wysocki House is on your Right–911 North Pleasant Street.

Coming from the Survival Center:
-Food For All is 1 mile away from the Survival Center
-Go south on Sunderland Rd toward Montegue Rd/MA 63 for 0.3 miles
-Sunderland Rd becomes North Pleasant St. Continue south for 0.7 miles
-The Wysocki House is on your left.

There is a parking lot right next to the Wysocki house. The garden is about 0.2 miles from the parking
lot. You can park in the parking lot or drive right up to the garden. Continue through the park2014-05-28 13.23.51ing lot
onto a dirt path at the back right side of the parking lot. Go straight down the path for about 0.2
miles. Food For All is the first plot to your right.

Food For All is accessible by PVTA Bus Routes 30, 31, and 32.
Visit for more info or call (413) 781 7882

SEE YOU THERE! Contact us with questions!


Breaking Ground-Come Join Us!

10177262_10152490598589750_1720573270546823626_nAlthough spring has taken a while to warm up, we finally  broke ground this week and excitedly began planting our transplants at the garden at UMass Agricultural Learning Center, home of our Food For All Garden.  With the help of Amanda Brown, Zach, and other Ag Learning Center staff,Cate Elliott and Sarah Berquist began by planting 1000s of little onions in our 3/4 acre space.  Grateful for a warm sunny evening, we stayed until the sun went down talking about our biggest hopes and goals for the season.  The garden will be a beautiful mix of highly productive space, but also inviting and space to relax and enjoy the summer sun, a picnic, or a book!

After a delicious lunch yesterday at the Amherst Survival Center, we can’t wait to load them up with fresh organic food for their daily lunches and food distribution.

Want to get your hands dirty and have some fun in the sun with us?  Our VOLUNTEER HOURS are Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-12 and Wednesdays 11-2.  We’ll be planting lots of sweet baby plants next week so come and join the fun! Please contact Cate or Sarah with any questions:  STAY TUNED for some fun upcoming events and workshops.