Atkins Field

A place to play, learn and explore. A place to grow and share food. A place for all generations to gather and experience our heritage and our future.

This child is holding up the love note he wrote to a tree at Atkins Field

Nestled in downtown Hardwick, this 15 acre field and forest property is our shared community asset. Once home to the area's world renowned granite processing plant, the Center for an Agricultural Economy purchased Atkins Field in 2008 with the intention to preserve the land for community and agricultural use. In 2014 CAE undertook an extensive series of surveys and forums to determine the best uses of Atkins Field for the Hardwick community. Priorities identified by the results of this effort guided the development of a comprehensive site plan for the future of Atkins Field.

CAE now works with the greater Hardwick community to fulfill an ambitious vision for this site. Present day Atkins Field is the site of a thriving community garden, young orchard, bicycle pump track, seasonal skating rink, and a loose network of walking, snowmobile, and VAST trails alongside Cooper Brook.

Hoophouse crew

The Hardwick Community Garden was started in 2004 by CAE in partnership with community members and the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund.  

Since then, with the help of countless volunteers, CAE has expanded the number of raised beds to 40 and added a small hoop house dedicated to the memory of a local friend, Vernon Alper. CAE manages the garden site and welcomes community members to contact us each year to sign up for beds. Hardwick Area Food Pantry members have priority access to specific beds. Growing food together and sharing community is critical to building a food system that includes everyone. The Hardwick Community Garden thrives because of our volunteers, our partners, and our funders.

Events at Atkins Field

In the summer season, Atkins Field is home to the weekly Farmers Market and popular annual events like SpringFest and Kingdom Farm & Food. Check out our Events page for dates and more information. Mark your calendars!

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