Dreaming Big and in Vivid colors at Agric Organics
Hameed and Ayo Bello are the visionaries behind Agric Organics. Hameed has practiced agriculture in one form or another for most of his life. Beginning in Nigeria in the classroom, he went on to apply his knowledge in the fields of Texas. The Bellos now farm outside Springfield, Massachusetts, in a suburban neighborhood of Wilbraham.
Hameed’s grandmother greatly inspired his appreciation for growing food and medicine. Watching and learning as she used plants to treat common ailments motivated Hameed to study pharmacology. He wanted to understand at a chemical level how plants keep bodies healthy. While studying pharmacy, Hameed more fully understood the symbiotic relationship between food and medicine. Thus, Agric Organics was born.
As Hameed and Ayo begin their first full season on their new land in Wilbraham, they used a Brighter Future Fund to purchase four high tunnels that will protect tender and high-value crops from the moody Massachusetts weather. American Farmland Trust, with support from Tillamook Creamery, launched the Brighter Future Fund to help farmers in the face of pressing challenges like climate change and COVID-19.
Hameed says funding like this to small-scale farmers “means everything to us.” Farmers just getting started often do not have capitol to invest or use as collateral for loans. The funding for high tunnels means that Agric Organics can more consistently provide for their community with less worry about losing crops.
“We are dreaming big and in vivid colors.”
Community service is Hameed and Ayo’s motivation for farming. They farm to provide accessible healthy food and give sound advice on the nutritional benefits of their produce. In the process, they are growing community by inviting their neighbors and customers to experience the farm while also helping to shape other farmers. Their methods of farming are focused on building the health of the land and can be adapted by most anyone.
“We are dreaming big and in vivid colors,” Hameed says. In their dream farm, they see a thriving ecosystem that nurtures people in their bodies and spirits. They imagine families and friends spending time on the farm, learning, making connections with each other and appreciating what a unique value they have in their backyards.
Watch them grow and support their work: www.agricorganics.com.
Brighter Future Fund
Informed by farmers, built on experience, and inspired by you. AFT’s Brighter Future Fund carries forward AFT's commitment to addressing inequalities in our agricultural system by providing grants up to $5,000 to BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or women farmers nationwide. Help us support another round of inspiring farmers by donating to the fund today! 100% of all funds raised will go directly to farmers to strengthen farm resilience, enhance farm viability, and improve access to land.