Vote to win a grant for Montclair youth farming.
The Montclair Community Farms project is seeking the community’s assistance to help cultivate its youth farming program which teaches local youth how to grow and sell vegetables at affordable prices in order to increase access to healthful foods in Montclair.
The six founding agencies are seeking a $15,000 Nature’s Path Gardens for Good grant to fund the expansion of the project from Miller Street to the Montclair Historical Society. Beginning June 1, area residents can visit the Nature’s Path Facebook page at www.facebook.com/naturespath to vote for Montclair Community Farms.
The youth farming project is a collaboration of the Essex County 4-H, HOMECorp, Montclair Health Department, Montclair State University, TerraNoble Design and United Way of Northern New Jersey. The seed money to launch and operate the program came from Partners For Health Foundation, and this year, the project is also receiving funds from Capital One.
In its inaugural year, six students grew almost 300 pounds of vegetables during a short season on 1,000 square feet of HOMECorp-owned land on Miller Street. This year, the project has expanded at the Miller Street location and to a second plot at the Montclair Historical Society's Israel Crane House. The program was therefore renamed Montclair Community Farms @ Miller Street and the Israel Crane House.
Another six area teenagers will start cultivating vegetables on the Miller Street property this growing season. The plot to be gardened is twice the size, at nearly 2,000 square-feet. The vegetables grown will be sold at an affordably-priced farm stand just a block away at the Montclair Child Development Center on Fulton Street. The farm stand's hours of operation will be announced at a later date.
Ground will be broken and fencing erected later this year for a nearly 6,000-square-foot plot at the Montclair Historical Society’s Israel Crane House on Orange Road. The first growing season at this site is slated for 2013. The site, a former farm and the current location of the Montclair Food Co-op CSA, was a natural spot for the program's expansion because it helps to recreate the community’s agricultural past.