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, a Flower Farm, bee hives, Free Food Stand, 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.
The Food Forest & Free Food Stand supply those in need including members of the houseless encampment across the street. 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, provide resources to two start up gardens, and provide fresh food to 3 families through our weekly FoodShare program.
If our campaign is successful we will use the funds for our 2022 Youth Program, revamp our Children's Garden, and expand the garden across the street to add 1/4 acre of growing space. With the additional space we will be able to provide food for more families through our Weekly Foodshare, and employ youth interns to assist and gain farming skills.