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Faces behind the Labor

YouthBuild finishing a raised bed
YouthBuild finishing a raised bed

The building of beds

Perhaps some of you have wondered how we actually get all of the raised beds built. With a current goal of 200 beds per year, it is no easy feat. Each raised bed is built by a team that includes a Food Project staff and three-four assistants who range from eager volunteers to Food Project teens to youth in other Boston area programs.

Spotlight on YouthBuild Boston

Since 2008, teens from YouthBuild Boston's Project Advantage program have contributed countless hours of tireless work to the Build-a-Garden cause. The Project Advantage program helps students, ages16-18, earn their GED while gaining hands-on experience in landscaping, carpentry, entrepreneurship, life skills, and professional development. Through work with The Food Project, YouthBuild Boston students have built more than 100 raised beds in three seasons and worked in our Lincoln greenhouse this spring to plant dozens of seedlings for your gardens! We appreciate all of their hard work. Thank you to YouthBuild Boston!

carrying compost
carrying compost
Recently, I sat with one of the students, Donte Bouyer, for a few minutes to ask him about his experience. For him, constructing the actual raised bed frames was "not that hard to do" though his working in a greenhouse was a first for him. Reflecting on this experience, Donte tells me, "I learned how to take a plant from where it started to another place, and how to take care of it, like separating the roots...It made me look at plants differently, it made me start liking plants a lot more." Giving some thought to the people who receive the raised beds, Donte shared, "they're depending on us to make sure it all comes together." Their garden depends on how we set them up with healthy plants and soil, he explains.  

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