La Colmena Community Farm
Our long range vision has always been to create institutions that directly represent the interests of working people. To win worker power, our movement must also build economic power. We believe that democratically-run worker coops offer an exciting way to do this. Read more about our cooperative development work here.
In 2018, we first began working with a small group of PVWC members who came together to form Riquezas del Campo, an immigrant-led worker-owned cooperative farm.
On May Day, 2019 we secured access to 9.5 acres of fertile land from Kestrel Land Trust and the City of Northampton where we have established La Colmena Community Farm. The Workers Center holds a licence and long-term lease to the land, which we make available to our members as well as other immigrant farmers who we collaborate with through All Farmers.
At La Colmena Community Farm, we grow much more than just food. We build new skills and learn from one another. We cultivate the community needed to sustain a multi-racial, cross-class food justice movement. Hundreds of our farmworker members produce an abundance of organic fruits and vegetables, which are sold at high prices that they cannot afford to buy for themselves. That irony is bitter. Having access to this land means that together, we have the power to meet more of the basic needs of our community. La Colmena is located on the border between Hatfield and Northampton and consists of three main parts:
(1) Riquezas Del Campo Farm Coop, an independent, majority immigrant-led LLC. Over the years, we have been delighted to support Riquezas in becoming a fully independent coop business, still closely tied to the PVWC as a sister organization, but now fully running its own show. Both organizations share a vision of creating a community space where immigrants and low-wage workers can build power together through cultivating the land and sharing its abundance.
(2) La Colmena Community Garden, a space where our Worker Committee members can access small plots of land to grow food for their families, as well as gather to cultivate community and build knowledge through a wide variety of workshops, both political and agricultural. When we first began laying the groundwork for Riquezas Del Campo to form back in 2019, some of our members expressed a deep yearning for access to land, but weren’t interested in taking on the risk and work of starting a cooperative business. To meet their needs, we set aside half an acre of the land which has slowly grown into this community garden.
Over the years, we have also worked in close collaboration with Equity Trust, All Farmers, and TESA. We also are grateful for the ongoing support of Kestrel Land Trust, the City of Northampton Planning and Sustainability Department and the Town of Hatfield, each of which support the development of this farm as well. We are thankful for the knowledge, resources and extraordinary generosity that each of these organizations brings to our work.
WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
We co-host regular work parties with Riquezas Del Campo every weekend during the growing season. (Usually ~April-October.) Stay tuned for information Spring 2022.
We welcome anyone from the community to join us. Volunteers help with a variety of tasks around the farm & community garden, including planting, weeding, mulching, harvesting, and more. We also host regular workshops about everything from sustainable agriculture to wildcrafting herbal medicine and much more, thanks to a diverse range of local experts who share their skills with us.
Want to get more info and/or regular updates? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We also welcome volunteers for smaller open work hours during the week.
Together, we are cultivating this land and growing the food justice movement.
“Ese trabajo me gusta y día a día, pues, uno va viendo la cosecha…las frutas y como van creciendo…No me gusta estar encerrada. Me gusta andar en lo libre.”
— PVWC farmworker member
You can also support our farm by donating tools and supplies
- burlap landscape fabric or coffee bags (for sheet mulching)
- garden gloves
- hand tools (Korean/ Wide-blade hoe, cultivator, machete/sheers)
- large tools (shovel, dirt rake, hoe, pitchfork)
- straw bales
- watering cans
- wheelbarrows/wagons/ garden carts
- garden scissors
- garden stakes
- disinfectant wipes