Rachel Farley, Farm Manager, Chloe Smith, Founder, Courtney Klee, first Executive Director, Rachel Snyder, Consultant
Wednesday Volunteer Night
490 Farmers was founded in the fall of 2017 as a grassroots crew of neighbors and friends to create a community garden on a vacant lot beside I-490 in Southeast Rochester, NY.
We began with just 10 garden plots & a shed and in 4 seasons have grown to offer 55 plots for rent, a Children's Garden, a Free Food Forest complete with fruit trees, berry bushes & numerous perennial vegetables, community composting area, rain catchment set up, and gathering space. We host regular gardening workshops throughout the season as well as weekly volunteer days & mutual aid events.
Our Children's Garden & composting bins are open to the public, and our garden plots serve local individuals & families seeking growing space and a way to connect with their community.
In November 2020 we incorporated as a 501c3 organization. In 2021 we received over $10,000 in crowdfunding as well as $1000 from the Pollinator Project. With these funds we were able to install a water source, host regular events including a weekly farmers market, and provide resources to two start up gardens. In 2022 we increased the number of plots for rent under the stewardship of our Farm Manager, Rachel Farley.
In 2023 we revamped our Children's Garden for greater interactivity, expanding the original community garden area, and increasing diversity in the Free Food Forest using permaculture principles.
We are also working toward expanding our reach to other areas of the city by partnering with other urban gardens to support their initiatives, and by obtaining a building to be used in partnership with other mutual aid organizations as an activity hub and additional urban land to be used for growing food.
490 Farmers in the News