All About First Harvest

Our Mission

To improve the food security and health of inner city Springfield residents by providing opportunity to 1.) be self reliant for a portion of their own food production, 2.) eat more fresh, healthy, chemical free food,  3.) develop new skill sets in food production, 4.) improve their economic independence, and 5.) engage in meaningful physical activity that contributes to their family’s and the neighborhood’s well-being.



Recent national and global events have, and will continue to be, factors in the availability of fresh, chemical-free, locally grown food.   Economic decline and impending increases in energy costs are creating rising prices for food.  Consolidation of food production and supply chains are creating “food deserts” for the inner city, leaving those residents primarily as recipients of highly processed food that is calorie sufficient and nutritionally poor.  This is increasingly being shown to have a negative impact on human health.


Our Vision

To engage the local neighborhood in the creation, operation and management of an urban agriculture center that 1.) provides fresh, healthy, chemical free food for the community, 2.) teaches new skill sets in food production and food preservation, and 3.) teaches participants how to eat better given the limitations of the current food system.  The urban agriculture center will employ methods that emphasize biointensive, organic, chemical-free food production, and will include elements of permaculture, water capture/reuse, season extension, composting, and sustainable/closed loop systems.


Our Goals


  • Improve the overall food security of the community by providing a safe, reliable way to produce fresh, healthy, chemical-free food within that community
  • Positively impact the health of the participants through meaningful physical activity and improved quality of the food they consume
  • Educate the community about the limitations of the current food production system.
  • Educate the community in the growing, preservation, storage and preparation of the food they grow.
  • Provide the space, knowledge and tools necessary to facilitate the participation of residents of all ages.
  • Improve the quality of the soil at the site(s) with the operation of a composting system
  • Provide productive activity, possibly employment in the long term, for residents
  • Provide the immediate community with an increased sense of neighborhood pride, community spirit, ownership and/or independence via this project 
  • Encourage self reliance principles for people in poverty, especially in terms of food
  • Be deeply involved with the local community and community groups, such as the West End Neighborhood Association, local Children’s Rescue Center sites, food pantries, and other relevant groups. 


             “Sowing Seeds of Independence”

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