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A Sustainable Vision for Local Farming

Posted Monday, June 13, 2016

Food and Farming in the Quabbin Region, an innovative new report from Mount Grace, highlights the region's valuable farm and food resources and explores the challenges facing local food today.  Mount Grace released the report in June 2016 with support from the Henry P. Kendall Foundation and the MassLIFT AmeriCorps program.

Food is a subject that brings together people of all backgrounds and organizations. The food system is a complex system that encompasses all the pathways food takes, from the farm where it was grown onto the consumer’s plate and then back into the soil.

A community food system assessment is a tool for analyzing and assessing the assets and barriers related to growing food and producing local goods. Food and Farming in the Quabbin Region focuses on six towns in north-central Massachusetts and assesses these five sectors of our regional food system: food production, processing and storage, distribution, consumption, and food waste recovery. 

The report delves into the complex issues surrounding food in our region, relying on community conversations as well as more traditional research methods to paint a picture of our regional food system.

Tyson Neukirch, Head Grower at the Farm School, calls Food and Farming in the Quabbin Region “an incredibly useful document that will be well used by farmers, policy makers, community advocates, business owners, [and others] for years to come.”

Food and Farming in the Quabbin Region presents a vision where people across our region have access to healthy, locally-grown food, where farming is a viable and sustainable sector of the economy, and where land and other natural resources are utilized in a way that is sustainable over the long-term.  Kathleen Doherty, the report's author, served at Mount Grace with MassLIFT-AmeriCorps.