Tucked back behind the Tri-Main Center building, Brewster Street Farm is a community gem. With the leadership of Lauren Dawes of Journey’s End, it is a community-based urban farm that provides a center of community and a quarter acre of land where newcomers to Buffalo are able to grow culturally appropriate produce to both fill their own families’ tables with a taste of home, as well as to sell to the public at the Tri-Main farmer’s market each Thursday.
Since joining the team in 2019, Lauren’s hard work getting the farm off the ground has been phenomenal. Brewster Street Farm started as just a single greenhouse back in 2013, with the land generously donated by Tri-Main. Over the past few years the farm has expanded to include additional land and now also works closely with neighbors who run an adjacent Grassroots Garden. Today Brewster is cultivating rich harvests from a quarter acre of land in the Fillmore-Lovejoy neighborhood. Not only that, but in the last month Brewster Farm has put forward an exciting grant proposal in partnership with Firsthand Learning, also located in the Tri-Main Center building, that would expand the farm further by adding an additional greenhouse and bringing in lots of great educational programming.
And so...enter Buffalo Commons! First off, we just can’t say enough how much we support the work that Lauren, and the team at Journey’s End are doing more broadly to welcome newcomers to our community – it is vitally important and the most recent census data shows how impactful a strong resettlement program can be to our vibrant city. However, what drew us to Brewster was particularly the way the work at the farm includes and honors the folks that use and run it. This idea of an inclusive community in which all voices are valued and we learn from one another aligns perfectly with the philosophies of Buffalo Commons. This dedication to including and leveraging an actively diverse community in everything that we do permeates the soil from which Buffalo Commons is growing; you can see it in the way we craft our policies, staff our organization, and design our programs. In the case of Brewster and of Commons, the result is an engaged and empowered community.
Buffalo Commons has been so excited to help out on the farm this summer - mowing the lawn, spending time with community members, and learning about all the wonderful produce that’s being cultivated. Additionally we are excited partner in the new grant opportunity, and are looking forward eagerly to the day when students from Buffalo comments are spending time on the farm learning about the science growing, the cultural significance and traditions that surround the foods that are most important to us, and the community that arises around the place like a shared community farm.
There are a number of ways to get involved if you’re interested in supporting the work of Brewster Street Farm. Feel free to get in touch with Lauren Dawes directly for opportunities to volunteer, or contact us at Buffalo Commons if you’re interested in working on the developing programming for young people in partnership with an urban farm. And also don’t hesitate to get involved with Journey’s End more broadly – they are doing such important work.
No matter how you choose to get involved, we thank you in advance and are thrilled to share this common sense of purpose with you.