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from the fields

The Food Project's blog

SNAP & Bounty Bucks Use in Boston Up in 2010

Preliminary results from a Food Project study show that our efforts to increase access to healthy food for underserved communities are making a big impact. In 2010, over $38,000 in SNAP sales were completed in farmers’ markets, with an additional $33,000 in redemption of Boston Bounty Bucks. Combining SNAP sales and Boston Bounty Bucks redemption, we’re projecting a final total of about $75,000 – representing a 271 percent increase from 2009 numbers! And more great news: the number of participating markets went up by 50 percent, from 14 to 21.

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Delaware First Lady Visits The Food Project

(left to right, from center) Mrs. Markell, Secretary Kee, and Ms. Willauer ask questions while stopping for a warm and inspiring visit to TFP's new greenhouse.
(left to right, from center) Mrs. Markell, Secretary Kee, and Ms. Willauer ask questions while stopping for a warm and inspiring visit to TFP's new greenhouse.
Braving the blustery cold of an early winter’s day, Carla Markell, the first lady of Delaware, led a delegation of government, banking, and community leaders on a visit of The Food Project’s Boston growing sites. A diverse complement of TFP staff and youth alumni greeted our guests on the morning of December 8, giving them a good look at what makes us so effective. By all accounts, we made quite an impression.

“The young leaders at The Food Project provide inspiration to all of us,” said Mrs. Markell. “We are grateful for the time the staff and youth leaders gave us and deeply value the ability to share ideas and learn from the great example The Food Project sets.”

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Intern Alvin Andino Awarded Posse Scholarship

Alvin and D.I.R.T. Crew member Peter work to collect surveys at TFP's farmers' market in Roxbury.
Alvin and D.I.R.T. Crew member Peter work to collect surveys at TFP's farmers' market in Roxbury.
We are pleased to announce that Food Project Intern Alvin Andino has been awarded a Posse Scholarship. Run by the Posse Foundation, this innovative and highly selective program selects 60 young people from a large pool of applicants (in 2009, the pool numbered about 12,000) to receive full-tuition college scholarships.

Alvin and alumnus Stefan listen closely to Chef Didi Emmons while preparing to serve lunch at the National Governors Association summer conference.
Alvin and alumnus Stefan listen closely to Chef Didi Emmons while preparing to serve lunch at the National Governors Association summer conference.
In his two and a half years working with The Food Project, Alvin has risen up the ranks, beginning as a crew worker, working as an assistant leader, and now serving as an intern. Currently, he also serves on TFP's board of trustees as a youth member.

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How to Keep Gardens Safe

Recently, new findings from research led by Dan Brabander of Wellesley College, conducted in partnership with The Food Project, have been reported by various media. They show that lead particles in urban soil can move over time, perhaps by wind or rain, and settle on the top layer of clean compost inside of raised beds. Because these findings are likely to cause concern, we want to make sure that people, especially urban gardeners, understand fully what they mean. The good news is that gardeners can take simple yet effective steps to keep their gardens safe.

Importantly, gardening in raised beds is still highly encouraged in places where contaminated soil is prevalent. It’s also important to know that the movement of particles happens over time – generally, at least a season must pass before changes in soil quality can be observed. So proper maintenance of raised beds should minimize or eliminate concerns.

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Garlic Growing this Fall

The history of garlic involves many ancient cultures with an extensive range of uses including medicinal, spiritual, and culinary. Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians all used garlic to prevent diseases, and in many cultures, garlic was believed to repel evil and vampires.

Today, China grows much of the garlic used worldwide, with India's production on the rise. 90% of garlic grown in the United States is grown in California. That said, garlic is really fun to grow on your own, and the good news is that it's really easy!

Garlic is a bulb, and for each clove of garlic you plant, a new head of garlic will grow.  In New England, planting garlic in the fall enables it to establish its roots, "sleep" during the cold months, and then get an early start at the first signs of spring.

Selecting Garlic

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Garlic Planting Mini-Workshop & Fall Compost Pick-up

Saturday, October 16, 10am-12 Noon
West Cottage Farm, Dorchester
(intersection of Brook Ave & West Cottage St)

Mark your calendars! Come out to our West Cottage farm in Dorchester to celebrate the end of the growing season. At this fall's event, we will offer:
Compost (pick-up only). By adding compost to your garden now, you will have a head start in the spring. 5 container/bag limit per raised bed. $5.00 per person. Please bring your own containers/bags. Limited bags will be available at additional cost.
Local garlic (for sale) for you to plant in your garden this October. Limited availability.
Straw (for sale) for mulching your garlic and raised bed for the winter months.
Questions? Please contact Kathleen at [email protected] or 617-442-1322 ext 12
 

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News from the Lincoln Fields

Watermelon
Watermelon
The Lincoln/Boston Summer Youth Program came to a close this Wednesday, with a final celebration of food, fun, and family. In the evening the farm was filled with the family and loved ones of the 60 youth who participated in the program this summer. They shared highlights from the 7 and a half weeks they spent growing food for many people in the greater Boston area. The farm staff will surely miss them as we gear up one of the busiest part of the season yet, but we are also excited to welcome volunteers to the farm as our fall Serve and Grow season begins soon. I would like to take this space to write on behalf of all of the farm staff and thank the SYP for their hard work and dedication.

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Dudley Farmers' Market News

Intersection of Blue Hill Ave and Dudley Street, Roxbury
Tuesday and Thursdays
3-7pm

At the Market

Yellow Watermelon
Red Watermelon
Potatoes
Green Peppers
Eggplant
Green Beans
Tomatoes
Green Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Lettuce Mix
Spicy Salad Mix
Cucumbers
Collard Greens
Swiss Chard
Basil
Sage
Parsley
Summer Squash
Corn (Thursday only)
Nashoba Brook Bakery Bread (Thursday only)

EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Coupons, Debit and Cash Accepted! All season, any EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP purchase will be matched up to $10 at twenty Farmers Markets in Boston, including the Dudley Town Common Market.

 

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News from the Lincoln Fields

It’s official folks. Our beloved Baker Bridge Farm is experiencing a drought. For the past few weeks we have watered fields that really need it while waiting for the rain, but no matter what the forecast says no rain comes. Last week, when Boston and other areas were hit with torrential rains, not a drop of rain was felt in our Lincoln farm. We usually save irrigating fields as a last resort as we truly believe in conserving our water as much as possible.

Currently, we are at near emergency levels and so we have instituted a watering regime, which means that we work through our weekends and come to the farm every three hours to switch the water and keep our crops healthy and growing. Despite these measures, we are feeling the lack of some of our staple crops like beets, carrots, and salad mix. The good news (and there is good news!) is that we are almost out of the worst of it. The next round of staple crops is almost ready, and our melons and tomatoes are really starting. There is, of course, no better cure for a tired and thirsty heart than a cold and juicy watermelon. Cheers and lets hope for some rain!

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Dudley Farmers' Market News

Intersection of Blue Hill Ave and Dudley Street, Roxbury
Tuesday and Thursdays
3-7pm

At the Market

Yellow Watermelon
Red Watermelon
Asian Sun Jewel Melon
Peaches
Potatoes
Green Peppers
Eggplant
Garlic
Beets
Shell Beans
Green Beans
Green Tomatoes
Red Slicing Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Lettuce Mix
Spicy Salad Mix
Cucumbers
Carrots
Collard Greens
Swiss Chard
Scallions
Basil
Sage
Parsley
Summer Squash
Corn (Thursday only)
Nashoba Brook Bakery Bread (Thursday only)

EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Coupons, Debit and Cash Accepted! All season, any EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP purchase will be matched up to $10 at twenty Farmers Markets in Boston, including the Dudley Town Common Market.

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