Nuestras Raíces is a grassroots urban agriculture organization based in Holyoke, MA. Our mission is to create healthy environments, celebrate “agri-culture,” harness our collective energy, and to advance our vision of a just and sustainable future.
Nuestras Raíces was born in 1992 by a group of community members in South Holyoke who had the goal of developing a greenhouse in downtown Holyoke.
The founding members of Nuestras Raíces were all migrating farmers from Puerto Rico with a strong agricultural background, who found themselves in a city without opportunities.
Realizing that the physical landscape of the city was not being cared for, these community members took action into their own hands. They located an abandoned lot in South Holyoke that was full of trash, needles and criminal activity and came together to clean the lot. The lot became the city’s first community garden, sparking the growth of urban agriculture in Holyoke under the umbrella of Nuestras Raíces.
The network of community gardens that emerged has created opportunities for the members of Nuestras Raíces to organize and communicate about the different issues affecting the community throughout the city. Today, Nuestras Raíces coordinates and maintains a network of 14 community gardens with over 600 family members and operates a 30-acre urban farm that focuses on urban agriculture, economic development, and creating food systems change.
What We Do
With more than 600 miembros (members), Nuestras Raices encompasses community gardeners, tenant farmers, small businesses we have helped to launch, program participants, funders, community stakeholders and supporting businesses, staff and volunteers.
Members hold voting power to control the Board of Directors, and to approve changes to our mission and outreach. We sustain this extended body of supporters with programs and investments that increase community strength, leverage its collective power, support its traditions and culture, and create a resilient urban environment in which to raise its children.
- Our 30-acre urban farm supports 10-15 small farm business tenants who are all Latino, low/moderate income and who cultivate and sell cultural crops favored by the community.
- We support food entrepreneurs who lease our commercial kitchen and restaurant facility in downtown Holyoke
- We operate a mobile market serving Hampden County with fresh produce
- We provide technical assistance and financial literacy classes to Latino entrepreneurs.
- We launched Energia, LLC, a clean-energy business in Holyoke that now generates in excess of $4M in annual revenues and employs more than 40 workers.
- We collaborate extensively with area public schools to develop a strong Latino youth labor pool
- We operate a Puerto Rican Lechonera (spit-style pig roast) take-out facility that is leased by a local entrepreneur.
We are a Spanish-language organization who has earned the trust, loyalty and support of the Latino community by advocating for racial equality and for food and social justice. Economic development for our community must respect the language, the product and service preference, the intelligence and the experience of our entrepreneurs and of their target customer base.
No job openings at this time.
Food Justice Conference
Holyoke Community College | May 4, 2017
"Nuestras Raíces festejó 25º Aniversario durante la Fiesta de la Cosecha"
MassLive | October 19, 2017
"Gala de Nuestras Raíces creo conciencia para el mejoramiento del medio ambiente"
MassLive | November 22, 2016
"Celebración del Holyoke Arbor Day enseña a los niños a mejorar el medio ambiente"
MassLive | October 21, 2015
"Dedicación del nuevo Jardín Saludable en Nuestras Raíces"
MassLive | September 1, 2015
"Nuestras Raices offers food and music at Harvest Festival in Holyoke"
MassLive | September 28, 2014
Support a more equitable food system!
Donate to Nuestras Raices online to join the movement for better food access for all.