The Farm to Live Initiative transforms unused space throughout the suburbs into educational organic community gardens. If you put all our gardens together they make a farm! The more food we produce locally the lower our environmental impact on the world and our communities. No matter what type of space it is, a parking lot, grassy lawn, someone’s home backyard, or anywhere else we; will grow food on it. Do you have ideas on a possible garden location? Need help starting your own garden? E-mail and let us know.

Bergen Community College Farm
400 Paramus Road, Paramus, NJ 07652

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This beautiful garden was Farm to Lives’ first creation. The land and water is donated by Bergen Community College and it is cozily located in a former grassy field behind Ender Hall. Rachel Wieland, BCC Environmental Club Adviser, and Hugh Knowlton, BCC Grounds Supervisor, serve as our garden contacts for using the space. We partner with the BCC environmental club on this project and started the garden in April of 2011 and today the garden is 1500 square feet. Eggplants and green climbing beans are just a few of the many crops that have grown extremely well in the space. Sunlight is good at this garden although there is some shade provided by a huge really old willow tree that borders our plot, but who can blame it… it was their first! It is a great place to work with songbirds, rabbits, dear, and many other time woodland creatures to see on daily basis. At this garden we also have the unique opportunity to have BCC students in the Turning Points Program volunteer on a weekly basis throughout the summer. Come visit!

Swan Farm
Street Ramsey, NJ 07446

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MEVO’s most urban farm! This garden is literally located on the unused space between a parking lot and a bordering property wall. The space for upwards of the past 5 years has been used by spontaneous community gardeners, the most recent of which being Sol Ezra (Farmer Sol) and the Ezra family. We partnered with the Ezra family on this garden in a 60% to 40% food share. We donate all the needed materials and extra man power to the Ezra family and they maintain the garden throughout the summer. The landlord that owns the property is a garden enthusiast and supports the space being transformed into some kind of productive use. The space gets exceptional sunlight despite having a HUGE wall right next to it. In addition this farm will be our focus for experimenting with a wide variety of vertical growing practices because of the minimal area and sturdy chain link fence conveniently built right down the center of it. One plant that loves this farm? Potatoes! The soil is rocky, and not as appealing to more delicate plants. But our tough Purple Peruvian potatoes wouldn’t have had it any other way, they grow big and strong and produce a bountiful harvest.

Pony Power Therapies Farm
Pony Power Therapies Inc, 1170 Ramapo Valley Rd, Mahwah, NJ 07430

Horses, pigs, goats, dogs, and cats are all a common site at the Pony Power Therapies Farm. This space is generously donated by Pony Power Therapies, a not-for-profit organization that offers equine assisted activities for children and adults with disabilities and developmental delay. MEVO built the garden in July of 2011 with goal of designing an educational organic farming curriculum for the Pony Power summer camps. It was a success; our volunteers had the unique opportunity to teach children and adults about organic agriculture and the beauty of growing your own food. We now offer an even longer more comprehensive educational curriculum and work with Pony Power on their camps each summer. Surrounded by horse paddocks, this farm might receive the most sunlight out of any of our farms. Radishes and Beats love growing at this warm and homey space. One of the best parts of this garden might just be the two friendliest farm dogs Gracie and Murphy that make sure to say a big hello to everybody who comes to the farm. Future projects for this farm are a worm compost system for the massive amount of horse manure available at the property and a rainwater catchment system.

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