Plant the future of farming
Providence Farm Collective (PFC) supports Black, immigrant, refugee, and low-income farmers in Western New York who cannot otherwise access farmland. The farmers grow fresh, nutritious produce with cultural significance for their families and communities. Unfortunately, the farmers do not have a permanent farm they can call their own, and every year more of our region’s best farmland is paved over to make way for strip malls and subdivisions. The farmers at PFC need the peace of mind of having their own land. Right now, PFC is partnering with the Western New York Land Conservancy to raise funds to purchase a 37-acre farm in Orchard Park, protect it forever, add needed facilities, and sustain the farm in the long run. Will you give today to protect farmland and support fresh food access for all?
Empowering Equitable Fresh Food Access
Providence Farm Collective has its roots in the Somali Bantu Community Farm. In 2020, seven other unique Black and new American communities joined the Somali Bantu to come together as a collective. In its inaugural year, PFC’s 275 farmers grew and harvested 23,000 pounds of organically grown traditional produce for Erie and Niagara County residents. This new collective is the only regional, non-profit farm program offering hands-on mentorship and secure land to underserved farmers.
"Farming at Providence Farm Collective gave us a sense of meaning and ownership, and a feeling that we can do this on our own and be successful. I was most proud to see I have a piece of land and see my crops, like I used to grow at home. I was so proud that I could start something from the beginning and see it growing well. And I can produce something to put food on my table. We want to be with Providence Farm Collective for the long term. We want to have a permanent place.” - Dao Kamara, Incubator Farmer
Cultivating Vibrancy and Preserving Traditions
On a summer day at Providence Farm, there’s activity in every corner. Rosa is methodically recording that morning’s harvest of mustard greens and bean leaves in her ledger. Osman and Mageney are surrounded by rows of African maize deftly examining the stalks, silks, and ears to determine if they are ready for Kulimbula, the harvest celebration. The elders will build a bonfire, and everyone will roast corn while sharing stories of Somalia. Women of the Congolese Farming Project are infusing the atmosphere with joy and sisterhood as they sing beautiful songs among the beans, corn and amaranth, fully immersed in the music and their work. Billy and Brandon from Buffalo Go Green are harvesting collard greens to distribute through their mobile market in the city. Dao is sharing farming traditions that he practiced in Liberia with his son, Daoda. Nininahazwe is taking a study break from her college courses to help her brother Faz plant, weed and harvest in the Burundian community plot.
“The benefits have been tremendous: getting fresh vegetables for our community; earning money to support the Somali Bantu’s afterschool program. The health benefits have been important for our community. Many of our elders work at the farm. They do not stay home but now spend time outside farming. Everyone is eating fresh vegetables that are important to our traditions. In addition, our teenagers are learning our farming traditions and culture, which is very important to their parents and grandparents.” - Mahamud Mberwa, Farm Mentor and Incubator Farmer
Your gift will ensure that the farmers and their families have land of their own, forever
If we don’t purchase and protect this farm now, the rich, productive soils will be paved. PFC’s nearly 300 farmers will be without farmland and the ability to grow their own healthy and affordable foods. Generations of farm and food traditions will be lost.
Our community has only until December 31, 2022 to raise $2.3 million to permanently protect the 37-acre farm and ensure farmers like Dao and Mahamud can grow food for their communities and pass down rich cultural heritage far into the future. By donating today, you support diversity, resiliency, and collaboration in our Western New York farm community. You ensure everyone has access to fresh and traditional foods. Thank you!
Donor Recognition Opportunities
• One donor of $500,000 or more can be recognized on the pavilion
• One donor of $300,000 or more can be recognized on the barn
• One donor of $150,000 or more can be recognized on the children’s play area
• One donor of $100,000 or more can be recognized on the market stand
• Donors of $50,000 or more can be recognized on a shade and tool shelter
• Donors of $30,000 or more can have a picnic table named in their honor
• Donors of $20,000 or more can have a garden bench named in their honor
• Donors of $10,000 or more will have their name placed on a quilt square made by Stitch Buffalo on the quilt display in the pavilion
• Donors of $2,000 or more will be recognized in the Land Conservancy newsletter and Providence Farm Collective’s Annual Report