Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming


The Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming, based in Ithaca NY, is dedicated to building food sovereignty in the Finger Lakes and Central New York regions by helping small-scale farms and beginning farmers learn how to farm sustainably and responsibly. We also support the development of local sustainable food systems by connecting farmers to buyers and consumer outlets, assist farmers in developing successful business models, and host events that educate about the origin of our food, promote food sovereignty and equitable food systems. We believe that our future food security depends on creating an alternative to industrial agriculture by teaching people how to farm and how to make a living through farming and food businesses.

Farmer Training

The Groundswell Center offers a variety of farmer training programs taught by experienced Mentor Farmers. We partner with diverse farms to provide outdoor classrooms and hands-on instruction, from basic organic vegetable production to farming with draft animals, to planning a farm business.  Short-term workshops, weekend classes, and multi-session farming courses offer a range of learning opportunities for different skill levels.

Incubator Farm

The Groundswell Incubator Farm is the first of its kind in New York State, creating pathways to ownership for aspiring farmers from marginalized communities, including people of color, new Americans, and veterans. We provide land, equipment, training and mentoring for three - five years, so that participants can launch their farm businesses with minimal investment and risk.

Community Education Programs

We offer community programs in Ithaca and the surrounding counties to involve people with our growing regional food system.  Our Homesteader & Gardeners Network helps people gain the skills to feed themselves. We host a wide range of public community events, often in collaboration with partner organizations, to promote food equity and sustainable community food systems.