In starting Rise & Root Farm, our goal was to create a place that mirrored the rest of our work around food. This is to say, creating a place where food and agriculture can make a big difference in areas like social justice, community development, health, and equity.

We know that in order to move these indicators, we have to build connections with the communities around us. This means that the vegetables, herbs, and flowers we grow should be accessed by different types of ethnic and socioeconomic communities, and that these different communities should also have the opportunity to participate in the powerful act of growing and cooking food.

We also know that we have to invest in our farm over the long term. We’re lucky that we have a long-term lease on our land through a collaboration with the Chester Agricultural Center. With this long-term lease, we’ll aim to maintain and improve the health of the soil through organic management. More broadly, we hope our farm will contribute to helping preserve this section of Orange County as an agrarian one.

But this lease also gives us a special opportunity to create win-win community relationships that reflect how powerful urban-rural relationships can be.

This is partly the reason why we are building a community kitchen on our farm. With this space, we’ll provide farming and cooking classes, create new education and employment opportunities, and host events for our community, from downtown Chester to New York City.

We hope you’ll help us make this vision a reality by donating to our ongoing Indiegogo Campaign here.