Simple Gifts Farm is a community-oriented organic vegetable and meat operation stewarding the North Amherst Community Farm (NACF) in Amherst, MA, with a long-term lease agreement that Equity Trust played an important part in helping to create. NACF brought in Jeremy Barker Plotkin and Dave Tepfer as farmers in 2006 and they run the farm as an ecological unit, integrating vegetable crops and livestock (chickens, cattle, pigs), and connecting their members with their food supply. They also have a team of oxen and they train the next generation of organic farmers through their apprenticeship program.
Simple Gifts is working to reduce the carbon footprint of the farm and they are committed to reducing fossil fuel consumption by selling their produce and meat locally, year-round, through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares, the Amherst farmers market, local stores and restaurants, and their Farm Store. Early in 2017, the farmers signed a new lease and purchased the farmhouse and other buildings, giving them secure tenure and allowing them to build equity. This enabled the Equity Trust Fund to make an operating loan to Simple Gifts while they work to diversify their business by building a farm stand to serve the large university population nearby.