History of the New American Sustainable Agriculture Project
Heifer International and the Kellogg Foundation provided funding for the New American Sustainable Agriculture’s (NASAP’s) 2002 start. Cultivating Community inherited the program from Coastal Enterprises, Inc. in 2009.
Since then, the income of farmers in the program has grown more than ten-fold. Farmers have gone from providing produce from four to approximately 20 farmers’ markets. And today, Cultivating Community operates both a robust CSA program and a growing wholesale program for which NASAP farmers produce their glorious vegetables, utilize sustainable, chemical-free production practices and food safety standards, and play an important part in interacting with customers.
Over the years, NASAP farmers have also become increasingly skilled at identifying and cultivating new market niches for their retail operations. Some have had impressive success in growing and satisfying local demands for ethnic crops.
In 2014, farmers collaborated with Cultivating Community to launch a new food hub with the support of philanthropic partners. Another big picture win: because of the success of NASAP and its farmers, Maine experienced a net gain in farmers between 2007 and 2012 instead of a net loss. All in all, NASAP farmers are playing an essential role in leading the way toward Maine’s greener, more economically robust, and healthier future.