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Building Life Skills in the Garden

Stephanie Teaching in the Greenhouse
Stephanie Teaching in the Greenhouse
In August, The Food Project embarked on its second year as the Massachusetts host site for FoodCorps, a national nonprofit organization that works with schools to create a healthier school food environment. What follows is the first of a series of blogs profiling the FoodCorps members who are serving at The Food Project during the 2012-13 school year. 

 

"There's no [competition] to the flavor of something that is fresh and was just picked," says FoodCorps service member Stephanie Simmons. "I think that's why a lot of kids don't like vegetables - because they haven't had a chance to taste them at their best."

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Food Day Tour Highlights Agriculture in Dudley

Anna, Anthony, and Eli Lead the Tour
Anna, Anthony, and Eli Lead the Tour
On Saturday, Food Project staff, interns, community partners, and guests meandered their way around the Dudley Hub, visiting and learning about the various urban agriculture initiatives in the neighborhood. As they walked, they discussed the neighborhood highlights they saw, their own experiences with food and agriculture, and the implications of urban agriculture on this neighborhood and on the rest of the city. At one site, they paused to applaud a community gardener who had taken over an abandoned plot and donated the food he grew to hunger relief in his community. At another, they learned about the native Roxbury Russet apple variety, one of the oldest apple varieties cultivated in the United States.

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Autumn in the Dudley Greenhouse

The Community Bay
The Community Bay
While many of Massachusetts’ farms are harvesting their last crops of the season and preparing for rest, the Dudley Greenhouse is just starting to blossom. Food Project staff and community members spent the month of September welcoming new partners to the greenhouse and preparing for a winter of delicious vegetables.

In July, the Dudley Greenhouse received 18 applications from groups looking to grow food and learn together in the greenhouse's community bay. The greenhouse advisory group selected eight groups to share space and resources in the greenhouse during the upcoming year. The new groups include local elementary schools, community gardeners, and refugee groups. Each week, FoodCorps Service Member Marlie Wilson welcomes second and third grade classes from Mason and Winthrop Elementary Schools to the greenhouse to learn to grow food and explore gardening, nutrition, and plant science.

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Common Boston Celebrates Food Day


October 16 - also known as World Food Day - marked the start of nearly two weeks of events here in Boston and around the country to highlight the wealth of activities and opportunities around food in our communities. On Tuesday evening, TFP Director of Community Programs Brandy Brooks joined Vivien Morris of the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition and Karen Spiller of the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness for a roundtable discussion on urban agriculture and food justice hosted by Common Boston.

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TFP on WBUR

(Courtesy Sacha Pfeiffer/WBUR)
(Courtesy Sacha Pfeiffer/WBUR)
The Food Project's efforts in the Dudley neighborhood to address the presence of lead in local soil – and increasingly in some of the compost available to community gardeners – was featured in a report broadcast on WBUR, Boston's National Public Radio news station.

Kathleen Banfield, TFP's community programs coordinator, and Dan Brabander, a geochemist at Wellesley College, talk about this complicated issue and what gardeners in the area can do to keep their gardens safe.  

For more information, check out this article about the work of Professor Brabander and his research students at Wellesley College.

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Giving Common Challenge Starts Soon!


On Wednesday, October 10 and Thursday, October 11, The Food Project will be participating in The Boston Foundation's Giving Common Challenge. The Giving Common Challenge is a 36-hour online event to drive donations to participating nonprofits. From 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, Food Project supporters can donate to us through our profile on the Giving Common website. In addition to the donations collected, The Boston Foundation is offering $150,000 in prizes to participating organizations for various accomplishments, such as most money donated during particular time slots or the highest number of unique donors. Please check out our Giving Common profile and help us win some prizes! Gifts of any size are appreciated - from $25 to $5,000!

 

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Food Day is Coming!

What is Food Day?  
Food Day is a nationwide celebration of and movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Join your community for this series of events and day of action on October 24! Food Day aims to bring us closer to a food system with “real food” that is produced with care for the environment, animals, and the women and men who grow, harvest, and serve it. On October 24, thousands of events will take place across all 50 states to celebrate.  
Will you join us?
 
 

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