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from the fields

The Food Project's blog

Cooking Up Greens!

Judy Prepares Chard Before the Class
Judy Prepares Chard Before the Class
On Saturday, The Food Project held a cooking class called "One Vegetable, Four Ways" as part of our ongoing Grow Well, Eat Well, Be Well workshop series. The class focused on cooking with an assortment of hardy, leafy greens and learning techniques to use many varieties interchangeably. Food Project staff Kathleen Banfield and high school senior Judy Merisier led the class.

To begin, attendees tasted four types of sautéed greens – collards, Lacinato kale, Tyfon-Holland greens, and Japanese Sharaku spinach, all cooked individually - and talked amongst each other to compare flavors, textures, and what they liked or disliked about each variety. The tasting sparked great conversations, as people had varying opinions about their favorites and which one was most bitter! To highlight variations of a simple stir-fry, participants sampled greens cooked with coconut milk, and then with curry powder - both were well liked and delicious.

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Governor Patrick Visits the Dudley Hub

Governor Patrick at the West Cottage Farm
Governor Patrick at the West Cottage Farm
On Tuesday, September 18, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Commissioner of Agriculture Greg Watson joined representatives from The Food Project (TFP), the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), and Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE) to tour urban agriculture initiatives in Boston's Dudley Street neighborhood. The group visited The Food Project's urban farm on West Cottage Street, the Dudley Greenhouse on Brook Avenue, and several community gardens on Brook Avenue. Along the way, Governor Patrick chatted with neighborhood growers about their gardens, what they are growing, and why gardening is important to them. "It was exciting to see how much of an agriculture supporter our governor is," remarked TFP Director of Community Programs Brandy Brooks, “and how knowledgeable and interested he is [in urban agriculture].

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A Big Thank You from TFP's ED

Dear Friends and Supporters,

This past Wednesday night, The Food Project celebrated our birthday in grand fashion, holding our “20 Years of Growing Together” gala at the studios of WGBH. By every measure the event was a huge success: every ticket was sold, the venue was packed with guests, the food – much of which was prepared using freshly harvested Food Project produce – was delicious, and the speakers moved everyone with their words of inspiration and hope. What’s even more impressive is that this was The Food Project’s first-ever event of this scale. Thanks to everyone who participated, we’ve laid a solid foundation for celebrating our work in the future.

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City Council Recognizes TFP's Twentieth

The Food Project at the Boston City Council
The Food Project at the Boston City Council
At the opening of the Boston City Council meeting on Wednesday, City Councilor Felix G. Arroyo recognized The Food Project for our work in youth development, sustainable agriculture, and community engagement over the past twenty years. Councilor Arroyo presented a proclamation of the City Council of Boston congratulating TFP on our twentieth anniversary and commending us for many years of outstanding service to the communities of Boston. Executive Director Selvin Chambers, Board Chair Eugene Benson, Communications Director Ki Kim, and Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator Elena Martinez were present to receive the honors on behalf of TFP. At the end of the presentation, Chambers spoke to TFP’s commitment to our mission of supporting what he calls the “pyramid of hope”: youth, food, and community.

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Spotlight on Our Impressive Interns

Emil Leads a Neighborhood Tour
Emil Leads a Neighborhood Tour
For the past several weeks, while the Summer Youth Program participants were learning for the first time about The Food Project, 34 carefully selected teenagers from our pool of experienced youth took part in TFP's Summer Internship Program. Interns represent the most experienced youth staff at The Food Project. In the summer months, they learn in-depth skills in various aspects of TFP's programming, take initiative in leading activities and workshops for TFP youth and community members, and serve as role models for the youth in the Summer Youth Program. This summer, they did some pretty awesome and productive work.

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TFP and Food Day '12


In celebration of Food Day 2012, The Food Project will be teaming up with partners to provide tours and educational programming that highlights the vibrancy of growing activities in the communities where we collaborate. Under the banner of “Grown in…” we’ll be presenting an array of tours led by Food Project youth highlighting innovative growing efforts in Dorchester, Roxbury, Lynn, and Gloucester, Mass. These tours will conclude with presentations by Food Project youth of workshops addressing food systems, and food access and sovereignty. These workshops were developed largely by the youth themselves, and they are designed to inform and inspire audiences to take action on the critical issues facing our society around food.

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A Stupendous Summer of Youth and Food

2012 Greater Boston SYP Participants
2012 Greater Boston SYP Participants
With Labor Day right around the corner, we'd like to take a look back at the excellent summer of 2012. Summer is arguably the most exciting time at The Food Project. Our flagship Summer Youth Program is in full swing for seven weeks during July and August, and our youth interns are hard at work both on the farms and in our communities throughout the summer months. The farms are in full bloom; our farmers' markets and community-supported agriculture programs are going strong; and backyard gardens around the greater Boston area are turning out delicious vegetables, delectable herbs, and delightful flowers.

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Teens Teaching Teens About Healthy Eating

David Presents Common Ingredients
David Presents Common Ingredients
How much do you know about healthy eating? Pop quiz: How large is one serving of cheese? What is the difference between natural and artificial flavoring? What is a processed food? Who has the power in the food system?

Here at The Food Project, teens teach teens about these important issues. This summer, TFP youth interns Colleen Corporan, Judy Merisier, and David McGourty led workshops for teenagers in TFP's Summer Youth Program highlighting what is in the food that we eat and various issues to consider when deciding what to eat.

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Volunteer on the Farm This Fall

Volunteers from Wellington Management
Volunteers from Wellington Management
Our farms are in full bloom we need your help tending the fields! Volunteers help us harvest and wash vegetables, weed, and prepare the beds for winter. If you like to get your hands in the dirt, meet new people, and have fun outdoors, then this is the right volunteer opportunity for you!

We are looking for volunteers at our farms in Boston, Lincoln, Lynn, and Beverly in September and October. Come by yourself, bring a friend, or sign up to bring a group from your company, school, or community group.

 

Boston - Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Beverly - Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Saturdays from 9:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Lincoln - Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Lynn - Mondays and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Thursdays from 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.

 

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Exploring the Dudley Hub

Courtney Leads a Tour
Courtney Leads a Tour
At the cusp of West and Brook
Lies a bounty of what chefs would cook.
Venture there and you'll find
The words written on your chest, in a sign.
 

On a recent Thursday morning, a small group of youth crew workers stood before The Food Project's Dudley Street office trying to extrapolate a location from this baffling poem. It took these teenagers from TFP's Summer Youth Program just a few minutes to figure out where to run for their next clue - how long would it take you?

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