The backyard vegetable garden is a mainstay in many suburban towns, but what happens when an entire city rallies around the cultivation of a massive community garden? Northampton, Massachusetts—home of Smith College—fundraised $670,000 to acquire a plot of land to solely be used for organic farming. Currently, the town has 121 acres growing organic produce.

In an interview with Organic Connections, Lilly Lombard, executive director of Grow Food Northampton, the nonprofit that spearheaded the project, explains how community gardens can enrich a town. “I think what is really important is the amount of awareness this farm is inspiring in the average citizen,” she says.

“We’re on the front page of today’s paper, and we’re becoming more and more commonplace. Once people engage with our land, they can take what they learn back into their own backyards or to their own community groups. Hopefully it will just have this wonderful domino effect ... This land was never meant to feed everybody—but it’s meant to inspire everybody.”

Read more in Organic Connections.