"Sometimes when you want to see a change for the better, you have to take matters into your own hands."
Where it all began.
In 2008, founder and Executive Director Lara Lepionka began farming at her home in downtown Gloucester. Fueled by a desire to increase her family's fresh vegetable consumption and decrease the monthly food budget, the Beacon Street Farm was created on the Lepionka-Brosnihan 1/10 acre lot. Subtract the house's footprint, and the actual outdoor space equates to 1/100 of an acre. Soon, neighbors were noticing the abundance and beauty of small-yard-turned-food-producing-mecca. "How can we do this too?" became the question that launched Lara into the role of garden mentor and the Beacon Street Farm as a model garden. The Backyard Growers program was born. What started with eight neighboring families has now become a community of over 120 families growing their own food through the mentorship, resources and training provided by the Backyard Growers program.
A tiny farm.
At the Beacon Street Farm, artistic ingenuity reigns, resourcefulness and up-cycling is the standard and fresh food grows in abundance. So much abundance, that for the past seven years not only did the farm achieve Lara's goal of providing food for her family of four, but selling produce to neighboring restaurants became a source of income. These days, earnings from sales to Duckworth's Bistrot, The Market Restaurant and Short & Main go directly into the Backyard Growers' myriad of school, community and family based programs in Gloucester.