STAMFORD, Conn. -- The term "in the field" carries a lot of different meanings at Stamford's Fairgate Farm .
The venue on Stillwater Avenue, part of the Vita Health & Wellness District, is all about planting the seeds of health and happiness. And so, a growing list of local employers urge employees to spend quality team-time together working “in the field” at the one-acre, volunteer-powered urban farm.
A partial list of Fairgate Farm supporters includes NestleWaters, Pitney Bowes, the Gartner Group, Design Within Reach, NBC Sports, Comcast, Johnson Controls, CPG Architects and Eastern Land Management.
“We have many good neighbors here in Stamford,” said Fairgate Farm Manager Bill Callion. Callion, along with Production Manager Maxon Keating, organizes volunteer schedules and special events at the farm, in addition to managing its day-to-day operations.
Many nonprofit organizations, including Charter Oak Communities (which runs the farm), Backyard Humanitarians, GreenUp and numerous local churches, also support and send volunteers to the farm.
In turn, Fairgate Farm supplies many local organizations and agencies – including the Scofield Manor Residential Care Home, the New Covenant Soup Kitchen, the Food Bank and local shelters for homeless men and women – with healthy, fresh, farm-to-table fruits and vegetables. Volunteers also take home produce after each work session.
By design, many of Fairgate Farm’s volunteers come from the West Side neighborhood where it is located.
Tasks range from making signs and tying up vegetables to planting, weeding and harvesting. The Farm also sometimes needs volunteers for special events, such as the ongoing Farm to Table Family Workshops running on Wednesday evenings through mid-August, or the upcoming Harvest Festival on Oct. 17.
“We like that Fairgate is not only a community garden in the traditional sense, but also serves organizations within the community,” said Delphine Fairley, manager of community relations and employee engagement at NestleWaters.
“It’s a great local resource, a truly hidden gem,” added Christine D'Andrea of Stamford-based CPG Architects who works at the Farm one evening each week. “It’s a chance to break away from our ‘work-selves’ and get to know each other in a more fun way and we also get to meet and work with people in the Fairgate neighborhood.”
Interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at Fairgate Farm? Stop by during its open hours, 8 to 11 a.m. Mondays to Saturdays, plus 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, or send an email to info@FairgateFarm.com.