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from the fields

The Food Project's blog

New TFP Workshop Series Starting Soon

Coming up soon at The Food Project, we’ll be presenting our new “Grow Well, Eat Well, Be Well” workshop series. In these sessions, we will explore gardening topics, share cultural recipes, connect you with other gardeners from your neighborhood, and more. These workshops are the beginnings of some exciting new opportunities coming up – you won’t want to miss them!

Grow Well: Bringing your gardening skills to a new level
Planning Your Garden
* Saturday, January 21, 10:00 – 11:30 A.M. OR
* Tuesday, January 24, 6:00 – 7:30 P.M.

This is the first workshop in our Grow Well series. Through this interactive workshop on designing your garden, you can get help with everything from planning its layout to ordering seeds. Other topics in this series will include: how to start seeds, planting tips, and how to dealing with pests and diseases.

Download a flyer for more information.

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A Project That Became a Movement: 20 Years


This fall, The Food Project begins commemorating our first 20 years of creating “a thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system.” In the coming year, through newsletters, events, and on our website, we’ll be featuring profiles of the people – alumni of youth programs and former staff and board members – who helped make The Food Project what it is today.

We’ll also continue looking at our present and future work . From our origins as a project of Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, Mass., we’ve grown into a national leader, unique in our innovative work to integrate youth development with sustainable farming. With 20 years of learning and growing under our belt, we stand poised to push the movement further to make real food – food that is nourishing to consumers, producers, and the environment – a reality for everyone, in Eastern Massachusetts and beyond.

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Scenes from Thanksgiving Farmers' Market

DIRT Assistant Crew Leader Anna leads neighborhood children in drawing activity.
DIRT Assistant Crew Leader Anna leads neighborhood children in drawing activity.
The Food Project’s November Market took place in our Dudley Greenhouse in Roxbury on Tuesday, November 22. From 4 to 7 p.m., friends and neighbors came to the greenhouse to buy a variety of root vegetables and greens to enrich their Thanksgiving dinners and to store away for colder days.

Along with the last field vegetables of the year, TFP youth handed out samples of their own Butternut squash soup with croutons, prepared specially for the event. While adults shopped for vegetables, other TFP youth interns led children in special activities around the greenhouse, such as a vegetable scavenger hunt, a potato digging bonanza, herb taste testing, and a lively game of pin the tail feather on the turkey.

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Food Literacy Team launched



This fall, The Food Project is partnering with Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) and Northeastern University to pilot a new program called the Food Literacy Team. On weekday mornings during the 2011-2012 school year, TFP volunteers will be visiting the classrooms of the Dorchester and Gertrude E. Townsend Head Start centers in Dorchester to engage preschool students in food literacy and nutrition lessons.

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Senior staffer named interim executive director

The Food Project’s Board of Trustees has named longtime Managing Director Susan MacDougall as interim executive director. Her appointment took effect on October 20, 2011. As interim ED, Susan will lead the organization while TFP conducts its search for a new, permanent executive to succeed former Executive Director Margaret Williams, who left in September.

“We believe that having Susan in the position will help ensure continuity and stability for TFP during this important period of transition, and we are grateful to her for accepting the responsibility,” said Gene Benson, TFP’s board chair.

The announcement may sound familiar to longtime friends of TFP – Susan was asked to serve in the same capacity in 2007, the last time The Food Project underwent a leadership transition. In addition to her work for TFP, Susan brings a wealth of nonprofit management experience to her new role. Prior to joining TFP, Susan served as the managing director of SquashBusters, another Boston area youth development organization.

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Community comes together in Dudley Greenhouse

In early October, we started working with nine groups that had submitted proposals when The Food Project solicited suggestions for how the community bay of our Dudley Greenhouse should be used. The greenhouse has been abuzz with activity lately and we're so proud to have partners in this new space.

The Food Project has worked with many of these groups in the past. The Vietnamese American Civic Association (VACA), the Nubian United Benevolent International Association (NUBIA) and the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center (RIAC) worked with us through the Gardening through Refugee Organizations (GRO) group, which provides refugee and immigrant populations with urban gardening opportunities in Boston.

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Governor proclaims Food Day at TFP farm

Governor Patrick digs in with a broadfork to loosen up carrots at Baker Bridge farm. --Photo by Christopher Fowler
Governor Patrick digs in with a broadfork to loosen up carrots at Baker Bridge farm. --Photo by Christopher Fowler
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick visited The Food Project this morning to celebrate Food Day and join us in harvesting food for local hunger relief efforts. TFP Director of Agriculture Tim Laird led the governor, Food Project youth, and a team from the Boston Area Gleaners working in the field to collect carrots and kale that might otherwise have not been harvested this season.

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Food Day announcement in Boston Globe

We signed on. Have you?


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Join us in the fields for the fall harvest!

We'd love to see your smiling face out on the farm. Come and join us at one of these special days or find info about volunteering on other days. Either way, we can't wait to see you on the farm!



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A letter from Board Chair Gene Benson


Dear Friend of The Food Project,

I am writing to inform you of a major staffing change at The Food Project (TFP). After nearly four years of providing leadership at TFP and in the broader real food movement, Margaret Williams, our Executive Director, has decided to move on to pursue new opportunities. Margaret has resigned effective September 16, 2011.

As many of you know, Margaret joined TFP in 2008 to help us embark on an exciting and important phase of strategic growth. Under her leadership, TFP has expanded our impact dramatically – re-imagining and deepening our commitment to youth, local food, and community. Her accomplishments are many, far exceeding the space of this letter to list in their entirety. I trust that everyone who reads this will understand that what follows represents only a sampling of her contributions.

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