The whole idea behind GI Farms Cooperative was hatched one year ago on September 5, 2015 on the back porch of a farm on Grand Island. Who would have thunk at the time that in one year we would accomplish all of the amazing stuff we did…
- We protected hundreds of acres of green space by getting 40 family farms on Grand Island included in a state-certified agricultural district with its enhanced property rights. We are on track this year to add another 40 family farms on Grand Island to the agricultural district.
- We started a wildly popular farm market where Island farms can connect with Island residents who can now buy home-grown produce, free-range eggs, meats, honey, plants, and many more goods from their neighbors.
- We created an agribusiness farm incubator, possibly the only one of its kind in NYS, where our members can rent a piece of a farm to produce, prepare and market farm commodities at our farm market.
- Our members have launched several start-up family farm ventures. And they tell us how their kids are involved in those businesses –– how they have learned to grow and make stuff, how to interact with customers on Farm Market Mondays, and how the work ethic required to bring product to market creates profit.
- We fought for Island farms to have the same right enjoyed by farms in other towns in Erie County to buy municipal water without having to pay for unused sewer service.
- We are working with the Town of Grand Island to revise its comprehensive plan and code to fully restore the right to farm on Grand Island, and recognize the significant and positive impact farming has here.
But above all, perhaps the most spectacular thing to come from this farm revolution is that we created community. We didn’t just grow veggies, we grew relationships and true friendships. People aren’t just talking about it, they are volunteering, and sharing, and making our organization and town a better place than it was one year ago.
We keep hearing one thing over and over… keep doing what you’re doing. We shall.
So Happy Birthday Us! Thank you for your continued support. Join us. Grow with us.