Empowering Youth to Cultivate Sustainable Small-Scale Farms in Low-Income Housing Developments

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2024: $29,801.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2025
Grant Recipient: Open Farms Retreat
Region: Northeast
State: Massachusetts
Project Leader:
Rachel French
Open Farms Retreat


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: mentoring, youth education
  • Soil Management: composting
  • Sustainable Communities: community development

    Proposal summary:

    Our project addresses the urgent need to combat food insecurity
    and promote sustainability in low-income housing developments.
    The primary objective is to empower youth to establish
    sustainable small-scale farms within the Brockton community. Our
    plan of work includes providing education and hands-on training
    for young residents, creating a farm space, and implementing
    eco-friendly agricultural practices. We aim to instill a sense of
    ownership and pride in cultivating fresh produce, improving
    access to nutritious food, and fostering environmental awareness.
    Our outreach strategy encompasses workshops, social media, and
    collaborations with local organizations, ensuring that the impact
    of this project reaches far beyond the farm itself, ultimately
    contributing to a healthier and more resilient future for the

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The principal objective of our project is to foster a positive
    socio-ecological dynamic, strategically integrating educational
    interventions for youth with collaborative community engagement.
    This concerted initiative seeks to yield locally derived,
    nutritionally rich produce for the immediate residential vicinity
    adjacent to the farm.

    Our research aims to substantiate that youth participants exhibit
    heightened self-confidence and an enhanced aptitude for
    initiating and cultivating a small-scale farm. Additionally, we
    intend to empirically demonstrate the favorable consequences
    arising from the synergistic interaction between youth
    involvement and community service, specifically evidenced through
    the donation of cultivated produce to community members.

    Furthermore, our investigation seeks to establish that the
    implementation of integrative farming practices exerts a positive
    influence on youth perceptions of their agency and control within
    their immediate environment.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.