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Every Day is Earth Day

North Shore Urban Agriculture Manager Robyn Burns writes about what land stewardship means to her.

This Tuesday, April 22, organizations everywhere will honor Earth Day. The Food Project will lead volunteer groups on our urban farms, and work together to cultivate and tend urban land previously been left vacant—just like we do throughout the growing season.

As The Food Project’s North Shore Urban Agriculture Manager, I take my role as a steward of the land seriously and believe that growing food in the city benefits our communities in a number of ways.

Our farms provide more urban green space and a learning environment for people of all ages to connect to where their food is coming from. All of our urban farm sites host community gardeners, who work alongside myself and our other staff and youth, to grow food for their family and friends. Additionally, The Food Project distributes our produce via farmers markets, farm shares, hunger relief donations, and retail outlets.

For example, the quarter-acre Munroe Street Farm (now in its sixth year!) is in the heart of downtown Lynn, across the street from the Lynn T Station. It is one of Lynn’s largest community gardens and provides thousands of pounds of fresh vegetables for distribution every year. The farm was built collaboratively by The Food Project’s youth and dedicated volunteers.

Indeed, our farm is part of the daily fabric of the downtown Lynn community. I watch passers-by get excited about the young seedlings just planted or stop a Dirt Crew member or myself to inquire about how they can buy some of the just-harvested produce. People often lean on the fence or sit alongside the farm as they share fond memories of a garden they have tended in the past. Cars periodically stop in the middle of the street, and a passenger shouts, “Hey, is it too early to plant my tomatoes outside?” (The answer is yes, by the way!)

So, as we celebrate Earth Day across the globe, for The Food Project and myself every day is Earth Day and a time to care for the land and those who surround it. Join us and stay involved even after Earth Day. Find out how. 

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