Many different activities bring people together on community farms.

In the Community Farms Program, the primary activity on a community farm is local food production.

A variety of other activities complement market production. These activities can include:

  • value-added food businesses
  • conservation use
  • agricultural and ecological education and training
  • public access to recreational amenities

An important benefit of community farming is public engagement through opportunities to attend and volunteer at farm and community events.

Farm Enterprises

The main purpose of a community farm is organic food production for local distribution, through farmers markets, on-farm sales, box programs, community-shared agriculture (CSA) share agreements, and retail or restaurant sales. Production is highly diversified, and farmers on community farms use environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable practices in their farming operations. Read more about farm enterprises.


Most community farms set aside areas for wildlife habitat and biodiversity conservation use. Riparian buffers, wetlands, forest barriers between seed fields, and timber management/woodlot areas help preserve biodiversity by protecting and enhancing habitat for animals, birds, and plants. Read more about conservation.

Education and Training

Many community farms provide opportunities for ecological or agricultural education and training. Ecological education provided through formal schools and/or farming apprentices on-site, as well as through connections to high schools and colleges is an important part of the community farm model. Read more about farmer training.

Public access

People visit community farms to access special events, festivals, and nature trails. Each farm is different, but many offer food demonstrations and celebrations, provide hiking trails and other recreational amenities, and host camps, workshops and conferences. Some offer farm tours and farm working holidays.


created by: Barbara Joughin

Last Modified: October 10, 2014