At the heart of community farms are people sharing and working together.

Individuals and groups collaborate to acquire land, plan and carry out diverse farm activities, and manage capital and other assets. Farmers grow food. Local communities gather around to support the farm, and share and celebrate the bounty of fresh, local food. Often, people also live together on the land.

People who are drawn to community farming share some common values. We value democracy. We've made a commitment to organic farming and environmental stewardship. We encourage communities to support farming as a viable career, and we understand the urgent need to provide public education about local food security.

And, people come to community farming with many different interests and agendas: land protection, food production, conservation management, education, housing, and others.

It can sometimes be a challenge to manage so many different interests and priorities.

One helpful communication tool for community farms is a Whole Farm Plan. These plans set conservation and sustainable agriculture objectives and guidelines, and summarize the agreements that are made by people working together on the farm.

In the Community Farm Program, we offer information, resources, and assistance to people who want to start and sustain community farms. We provide:

  • Start a Community Farm checklist
  • Whole Farm Plan guidelines and support
  • Examples of governance structures and helpful materials
  • Lists of training and other resources
  • Farmer survey and matching service



created by: Barbara Joughin


Last Modified: September 23, 2014