As a vegetable grower, both in my backyard and at The Food Project, I'm excited about season extension. For me, the most satisfying harvest begins by brushing the snow from the collard greens. I look for new growth on my plantings of greens, cilantro and parsley in the earliest days of spring. In my six years as The Food Project's Urban Grower in Boston I took deep pleasure in offering a varied mix of crops at the first farmers’ market each June. So you can imagine my excitement to be working on The Food Project's newest enterprise. We are launching a year-round greenhouse that will increase community access to fresh, healthy foods, as well as provide space for individuals to learn and grow their own produce.
The greenhouse is owned by the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative and it is located a few blocks from our Boston office (map). Built in 2004 by Mass Highways, the building was equipped with heaters, fans and a control system, but was never connected to utilities or brought into use. We are honored to have received funding from both the Boston Public Health Commission and the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation to bring this project to fruition. We expect to be opening at least part of the greenhouse for production this fall.
Over the past few months I've had the opportunity to visit a number of regional farms that are leading the way for year-round food production. Thank you to the farmers of Stone Barns in New York, Urban Oaks Organic Farm in Connecticut, and both Red Fire and Atlas here in Massachusetts for opening their greenhouses to me, and being so willing to share information.
Please watch for my posts here and on The Food Project's Facebook page, where I will update you on our plans and milestones as we move this project forward! I hope to see you amidst the greens this winter.