Cultivating Community: Running Fox Farm
Community, passion, dedication: three words that accurately describe how the farmers at Running Fox Farm operate. Tending to the land is never an individual effort, and the six co-owners of this farm work together to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Their passion for growing food to nourish both themselves and the community is apparent, and continually sparks the inspiration to start new farming projects.
Running Fox Farm, located in the hills of Western Massachusetts, has been in operation since 1906. Although the farm has seen many changes and faces over the years, the land remains as a powerful force for anyone who steps onto the fields. Running Fox Farm spreads over 38 acres and is home to over 1400 blueberry bushes and acres upon acres of farmland. The land is situated in a wooded area, giving the farmers the luxury of tapping maple trees during the spring months, yielding delicious maple syrup. (After my tour through the farm, we boiled some maple sap and used it for our tea…I have never tasted a tea so delicious…I highly recommend you try this technique.)
The farmers are constantly discussing new visions for the land. “Over there, we could have a vineyard!” co-owner Tom said to Ananda during our walk. With so much land, the opportunities for growth are endless. The cooperative aspect of Running Fox Farm is a perfect model for coming up with innovative ways to use the land. Here, everyone’s input is welcomed and valued equally, leaving room for improvement.
This growing season, the farmers are certainly making improvements. In addition to offering their usual Pick-Your-Own (PYO) bluberries, the farm is offering a seasonal Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share. The share will offer members access to a wide variety of fruit and vegetables throughout the spring and summer months. The farm will also sell their produce at the North Amherst, Williamsburg, and Easthampton Farmers’ Markets.
The farmers at Running Fox Farm certainly hold true to their mission of “maintaining the community in which we live, and bringing New England back in touch with its small farm roots”. Their innovation, love for the land, and cooperative lifestyle, make Running Fox Farm stand out as a leader in the sustainable food movement. Support local!
Winter 2012 Amherst Food Warrior