Roots Rising is an award-winning nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower youth and build community through food and farming. Our vision is to lift up teens as community changemakers and to strengthen the local food system through the transformational power of meaningful work.
Roots Rising has two main initiatives: our Youth Crews and our Pittsfield Farmers Market.
Our Youth Crews hire Pittsfield teens to work on farms and in food pantries throughout the region, as well as at our own farmers market. It's not just a job. It’s an opportunity for teens to engage in meaningful work—work that needs to be done and that contributes to a larger social good. Roots Rising believes that meaningful work is transformational. It leaves youth feeling purposeful, capable, and connected.
We run three seasonal Farm Crews a year: Summer, Fall, and Spring, as well as Market Crew, which is a graduate level Crew. These Crews are both employment and youth development programs. In addition to their hours working in the farm fields or in the farmers market, youth also participate in educational workshops, culinary and financial literacy lessons, and feedback circles.
Pittsfield Farmers Market
We founded the Pittsfield Farmers Market in 2013 with the belief that everyone in our community should have access to fresh, healthy food. We are a year-round and producer-only market, with all of our vendors selling products that they grow, raise, or produce themselves. Live music, chef demos and workshops have helped make the market a true community hub.
Roots Rising runs several food justice initiatives in order to make our market more affordable to all- including Market Match, which doubles the purchasing power of low income residents using SNAP, WIC, and Senior benefits.
The Pittsfield Farmers Market is the first teen-run market in the region. Our teen Market Crew is involved with every aspect of running the market, from vendor support to customer service to children's activities.