Founded in 2001, Cultivating Community creates and sustains greater access to healthy, local foods; empowers people to play many roles in restoring the local, sustainable food system; and models, teaches, and advocates for ecological food production.
We empower food growers and eaters in lots of ways:
- Since 2002, we’ve delivered garden-based education, including nutrition education and agricultural skill development, to more than 1,000 students each year in Portland Public Schools.
- Since 2004, we’ve built a year-round leadership development program in which teens grow, cook, and distribute food while honing job skills and practicing community engagement.
- Since 2009, we’ve led the New American Sustainable Agriculture Project, now the largest land-based farmer training program in Maine, to support former refugees, as well as other immigrants, in creating farm businesses. The farmers provide the produce for our CSA and wholesale programs while also selling at 18 farmers’ markets and many other sites.
- In 2013, we paired up with the City of Portland to manage, support, and expand the community gardens program. Two new city gardens will open in 2015. For all Portland-area food growers, we offer gardener training through our Citizen Gardener Workshop Series.
- We create and sustain new points of healthy food access, managing farm-stands accessible to people of all incomes, including our Grow Cart, while spearheading other projects. For example, we work to increase the proportion of local produce in Portland’s school lunch program .
- We establish and help manage gardens and growing sites. In addition to nurturing school gardens in southern Maine, we’ve established community growing spaces at Tidewater Farm (Falmouth), Turkey Hill Farm (Cape Elizabeth), the Farm on Highland Avenue (South Portland), and at our Boyd Street Urban Farm (Portland).
In all this, we aspire to work in joy and in the spirit of collaboration. This means that we invite you to work alongside us. So please learn more about our work at this site. Spread the word about the local sustainable food system and make choices that support it. Identify the volunteer and philanthropic opportunities to support Cultivating Community that make sense for you. Reach out to us.