Growing more growing space: Mack Park food farm triggers urban agriculture movement

Posted on Aug 18 2020 - 6:31am by UOG

Jaime Campos

SALEM — A robust “food farm” has popped up at Mack Park and is doling out thousands of pounds of food to local families. But the farm is growing a lot more than carrots and kale.

Described as “a municipal farm and future food forest,” the Mack Park food farm replaced an unused baseball practice area at the base of the park’s hilly Grove Street entrance. Today, it constitutes about 10,000 square feet of growing space, along with a manmade pond that captures water for irrigation and overflows to a wetland abutting Tremont Street.

But as city councilors and other Salem officials toured the farm on Monday, there was a sense from some that more farms are not just coming, but must keep coming.

“We’re working on a lot right now, and so far the city — all of you — has been terrific, and this project is sailing,” said Pat Schultz, one of three agricultural minds behind the farm. “I know everybody is going to say this, but (demand) is going to continue to grow, and we can’t keep up with our three markets on Wednesday and the food giveaway on Saturday with just this farm.”


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