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Dudley Greenhouse Spreads Its Seedlings

Sayed Ali's Garden
Sayed Ali's Garden
This summer Sayed Ali's garden is blooming beautifully. Sayed runs the "Seed and Yield" program through the Nubian United Benevolent International Association (NUBIA). He brings together Sudanese youth to experience gardening, learn about nutrition, and build community through service. In addition, Sayed's group grows in two garden plots in the Dudley Greenhouse. This spring, Sayed and his group started 50 trays of mixed vegetables, or over 2500 seedlings, in the greenhouse. The seedlings were planted in community gardens around Boston, and the produce will be provided free to low-income community members.

Two other community groups also completed large seedling production projects in the Dudley Greenhouse this spring. The Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project (REEP) grew 350 tomato and 72 collard seedlings to plant in community gardens and other urban farmland in Boston. The Vietnamese American Civic Association (VACA) grew 18 trays of mixed vegetables, and then gave the seedlings to 150 Vietnamese gardeners who grow food in raised beds or community garden plots.

In addition, The Food Project grew seedlings to support various community and sustainable agriculture projects. Each first-year participant in our Build-a-Garden program received six free seedlings to fill their garden. Other community gardeners bought seedlings at our City Farm Festival and at plant sales in the greenhouse and at the Dudley Town Common farmers’ market. In addition, TFP staff used seedlings during gardening lessons with several local school groups, including the Mason School, the Orchard Gardens School, the Dorchester Neighborhood Services Center, the Blue Hill Boys and Girls Club, and the Yawkey Boys and Girls Club. Finally, The Food Project grew seedlings to support our farms in the Dudley neighborhood.

Overall, The Food Project and its community partners grew thousands of seedlings in the Dudley Greenhouse this spring, which were later planted in farms and gardens around the city of Boston. "I'm very passionate about the Dudley Greenhouse being used to support urban agriculture via seedling production," says Greenhouse Manager Danielle Andrews. Seedling production both makes gardening more accessible to a greater number of people and expands the impact of the greenhouse. The startup costs of gardening can be very high; by producing seedlings that will be donated or sold at low cost, we are enabling more people to garden. In addition, seedling production exponentially expands the overall impact of the greenhouse. "There is limited gardening space in the greenhouse, so only a certain number of people can be impacted by our community beds," says Community Food Associate Jennie Msall. "Thousands more people were impacted by our seedlings."

 

For more information about the Dudley Greenhouse, please contact Community Food Coordinator Danielle Andrews.

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