Cape Ann Farmers Market
The Cape Ann Farmers Market (CAFM) would like to thank everyone who has made our Backyard Growers Program (BYG) such a success. BYG is full for this growing season! Together, we have worked toward BYG's vision of using backyard gardens as a way for low- to moderate-income residents to meet some of their food needs, improve environmental conditions in neighborhoods, and build community within diverse populations.
More than a traditional farmers market with a single focus, CAFM is a comprehensive program that aims to impact multiple points of the local food system. One of our strategies is to create a network of backyard gardeners who are providing for themselves while "greening" urban areas of Gloucester. Participants' survey results from the past two years indicate that having a backyard garden increased the quantity of fresh vegetables their family ate, saved money on their grocery bills, inspired healthier meal planning, increased outdoor family time, and increased positive interactions with their neighbors. BYG has provided concrete examples of how families can maximize small spaces to grow food and improve the environment in their own neighborhoods.
We have come so far in just a few years—serving 8 participants in our 2010 pilot program to serving 60 participants in 2012. This growth is thanks to our wide network of community partnerships. Thank you to The Food Project staff, J Harrison, Alison Woitunski, and Christian Appel; Food Corps/City Sprouts staff; and the youth D.I.R.T. Crew for partnering with BYG to provide raised bed gardens, logistical support and labor, and garden training.
Entering our second year with The Open Door Garden Project, we thank Julie LaFontaine and all of The Open Door staff for our dynamic evolving partnership and for sharing their space with us for our training program. Thank you to Steve Winslow from Get Fit Gloucester!, Mark Cole from the DPW, and Ann-Marie Jordan from the Gloucester District Schools for helping us with program support and outreach.
Thank you to all of the local businesses that have donated to our program, including Brick Ends Farm, Timberline Enterprises, Wolf Hill Home & Garden, Neptune's Harvest, Goose Cove Gardens, and Alchemy, and to our funders, Bruce J. Anderson Foundation, Clif Bar Family Foundation, New England Grassroots Foundation, and TD Charitable Foundation. BYG would not be able to serve our growing number of participants without the support of our volunteer garden mentors, who provide support during the training and growing season. Thank you to Lourdes Bilbao, Grace Cherubino, Maura Cronin, Susie Field, Frances Fitch, Molly Norton, Heather & Rick Fraelick, Keats Gallagher, Suzanne Gosselin, Nome Graham, Patty Knaggs, Susan Nellis, Sarah Rubin, Mern Sibley, Erin Taylor, Susan Wood, Wendy Banks, Jan Klein, Dan DeLouise, and Donna Caselden.
Thank you Gloucester—and don't forget to plant your peas this weekend!
Lara Lepionka, BYG Coordinator
Nikki Bogin, Market Manager
Melissa Dimond & Mark McDonough, CAFM Co-Founders