New Haven Farms is a nonprofit organization taking action to impact the health and development of our community through urban agriculture.
Employment, education, food security and neighborhood safety are leading social determinants of chronic disease. Lower-income adults are more likely to be obese than higher income adults, and consequently experience higher rates of diabetes and other diet-related diseases.
New Haven Farms was founded in 2012 to respond to these intersecting crises of diabetes, obesity, environmental degradation, and poverty by promoting health and community development through urban agriculture. New Haven Farms fulfills its mission by transforming vacant dilapidated urban spaces into small organic farms in New Haven’s poorest neighborhoods.
We imagine a world where every family, no matter their circumstances, has access to fresh and healthy foods, where food is used to prevent disease, and cities are health hubs filled with gardens, green spaces, and educational programs that inspire vitality.
New Haven Farms’ signature program, the Farm-Based Wellness Program, aims to demonstrate how regular exposure to and participation in growing food, in combination with cooking and nutrition education and behavior change interventions, positively impacts the health, social capital, and food security of its participants.
The program is a partnership between New Haven Farms and two institutions in New Haven that care for the city’s most medically underserved community members: Fair Haven Community Health Center (“FHCHC”) and Cornell Scott – Hill Health Center (“Cornell Scott”). FHCHC and Cornell Scott are federally qualified health centers that deliver a full spectrum of medical services to over 50,000 New Haven residents, the majority of whom suffer from diet-related chronic disease risks and economic hardship.
In the Farm-Based Wellness Program, medical providers from both institutions refer adult patients who have at least two diet-related chronic disease risk factors and who live within 200% of the 2010 federal poverty level. During the 16-20 weeks of the summer growing season, these referred patients and members of their families come to the farm to for weekly 2-hour, bilingual Spanish/English cooking demonstrations, nutrition classes, and gardening seminars.
Participants and their families take home a share of fresh vegetables and fruits each week, along with sets of culturally relevant, affordable, nutritious, and bilingual recipes that build upon a foundation of knowledge for improving their health. Youth who attend the weekly Farm-Based Wellness Program receive simultaneous age-appropriate gardening, cooking, and nutrition education.
In addition to Cornell Scott and FHCHC, New Haven Farms partners with several additional for profit, non-profit, and government agencies to serve the community, including: Cooking Matters, Phoenix Press, Yale School of Public Health, Chabaso Bakery, Common Ground High School, Cold Spring School, the City of New Haven, CitySeed, the New Haven Food Policy Council, the Yale Sustainable Food Program, Massaro Community Farm, and Bishop’s Orchards.
New Haven Farms also delivers several programs in addition to the Farm-Based Wellness Program. The Community Supported Agriculture program provides seasonal, local, organic produce year – round. See our Community Supported Agriculture Program page for more information.
Our Peels & Wheels Compost Program is a neighborhood-scale pilot program that composts household food waste for residents who want to compost but can’t or don’t have the means to do so. Using bikes, bins, and trailers, we pick up your kitchen scraps and other biodegradable materials and take them to our Phoenix Press Farm for composting. See our Peels & Wheels Compost page for more information.
New Haven Farms is a community response to the intersecting crises of diabetes, obesity, environmental degradation, and poverty. We exist to contribute to the health and vitality of our community, and are supported by a combination of philanthropists, state agencies, and foundations.