Salt City Harvest Farm is a project that links Northside Community members with land that can help sustain them. It started when the Letcher family of Manlius donated 36 acres of farmland along Fyler Road in Kirkville, to be used by people served at the food pantry at the Franciscan Church of the Assumption, 812 N. Salina St. The idea is that families would be able to help work the land, growing vegetables and other produce. They plant, weed, water—and then take home some of the harvest.
This mission evolved when members of the Syracuse Northside community started to volunteer at the farm. Refugees new to the country often find it hard to acquire fresh produce specific to their home countries. The Letcher family and organizers saw this as an opportunity to assist a community that would otherwise be overlooked.
Salt City Harvest Farm is proud to be running a community farm, incubator farm, apple orchard and vineyard. Community members and volunteers help out within all parts of this ecosystem which provides a wide range of agricultural skills specific to the Northeast United States.
Salt City Harvest Farm serves as bridge for New Americans as they adjust to their new surroundings, language, and culture. The cultivation of culturally-appropriate foods helps New Americans maintain their cultural identity and heritage in an unfamiliar environment. We work to transform the Central New York (CNY) community by creating opportunities with New Americans to grow foods precious to their traditions and bring together cultures from around the world to the benefit of all CNY.
Dylan Letcher creates a community garden at the farm to help food-insecure Syracuse Residents.
Sowing new seeds
A group of organizations collaborate to establish Salt City Harvest Farm. Over 40 New Americans help plant the first crops in May.
The Letcher family donates the bus for bringing volunteers to the farm.
The farm expands to add more growing space and an orchard. SCHF becomes a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization.
SCHF partners with RISE (Refugee & Immigrant Self-Empowerment) and receives funding for the Incubator Training Farm and the SyRAP program to provide education for New Americans to learn agricultural skills on their own plots at the farm.
The farmers in the SyRAP program begin selling produce at the CNY Regional Market
Deaf New Americans join Salt City Harvest Farm.
Laying more ground work
SCHF receives funding from the Chobani Foundation and the Community Foundation of South Central NY, to create a “farming cluster” of New American farms and a Community Pavilion with washing/packing infrastructure.
Building for the future
Construction of the Pavilion begins, providing a space for farmers to gather, wash & store crops, and get out of the summer sun.
Reimagining the possibilities
SCHF selected for the “Design for Good” workshop with the Visual Communications department in the Newhouse School at Syracuse University to reinforce its brand.