State aids repairs at Just Roots farm in Greenfield

GREENFIELD — Just Roots, a Greenfield community farm and food access organization, was recently awarded a $146,000 grant for restoration on its historic barn.

Earlier this year, the Healey administration visited Just Roots and saw the effects of the annual improvements that have taken place since 2019.

The grant from the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will go towards infrastructure improvements, including repairs to the barn’s slate roof, new windows and flooring, and upgraded electrical systems.

That work will lead to new climate-controlled food storage spaces.

Just Roots is looking to transform its barn from a “dirt-floored, livestock barn to a vibrant and unique hub aggregating locally grown food, including produce from Just Roots’ own fields,” according to information on the grant.

Today, roughly 500 Western Mass families receive locally grown, fresh produce from Just Roots every week.

The grant will help increase the efficiency of the growth and transport of produce and make it available to more local families.

“Our systems will become safer, more efficient and more productive, allowing us not to just work smarter but to ultimately serve more people through our food access programs,” Meryl LaTronica, Just Roots’ director of farm operations, said in a statement.

Renovations on the barn will begin this fall and be completed next summer.

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