The Food Project: Youth. Food. Community.

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from the fields

The Food Project's blog

Summer Youth Program underway!

Editor's note: North Shore Fellow Mike Syversen sends the following update on how things stand at the beginning of our Summer Youth Program

Hi everyone,
This is an exciting week for us up here on the North Shore. Our summer youth program started this Wednesday. Thirty youth ages 14-17 are starting their work here where they will be farming, participating in farmer’s markets, learning about the food system, social justice, and community development, gaining work experience, and much more. The crew leaders, assistant crew leaders, and staff who lead the youth have created a program that is bound to have an impact on the lives of the youth. We’re excited for the joys and challenges that the youth will bring. We know they will have a great experience!

This Monday was our third Lynn CSA pickup day, and everything on that front is running smoothly. It is great to see the members each week and know the food we provide them with has been harvested from our farm that same day. Getting to chat with the members about the produce and what they do with it is a highlight of the week.

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Dudley Market News

At the Market

Raspberries
Green Beans
Calalloo
Fava Beans
Cucumbers
Beets
Carrots
Cabbage
Lettuce
Salad Mix
Collard Greens
Swiss Chard
Radishes
Salad Turnips
Scallions
Mint
Basil
Summer Squash

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.

News From The Field

Last week, eight teenagers started their summer youth internship in our Dorchester Office. These young people have all participated in our Summer Youth Program and have been hired to take on more responsibility. They will build raised bed gardens in backyards, staff the farmers markets, lead neighborhood tours, and welcome visitors to our Urban Learning Farm. I invite you to say hi at the market.

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Summer Squash!

available at our Dudley Market and for at least some CSA members

Summer squash differs from fall and winter squash in that it is harvested before the rind hardens and the fruit matures. It is one of the most prolific crops we grow, with one plant able to produce dozens pounds of squash throughout the summer. Here at the farm we grow three different varieties of summer squash; a green zucchini, a yellow squash commonly called crook neck, and a UFO shaped squash called patty pan. The patty pan squash is probably the newest to you, but you can use it just like you would zucchini. It is my favorite summer squash. As its name suggests, summer squash is a true announcer of summer, and is one of the steady crops that usually accompanies us until the fall.

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News from the Lincoln Fields

The farm has seen many changes this season. You’ve now met Emily, Alex and Tim, the new farmers on our team. We’ve also added quite a few tools to our equipment fleet. Thanks to a generous grant from a family foundation, we’ve added a new tractor and a number of exciting implements. Our new tractor allows us to move heavier loads of compost, which means that we are able to add more compost to more fields. Next, meet our spader, the strongest, hardiest of our tools. Having a spader has dramatically changed how we prepare our fields for planting. In the past we used a disc harrow, which breaks up the soil to ready a field for planting. The downside of this method is that all the soil structure and organisms we work so hard to promote and preserve get broken down when we disc the fields. With our new method, chunks of soil get turned under, without disturbing the soil as much. We have already seen a dramatic decrease in our need for irrigation, a direct result of not breaking up our soil.

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Dudley Market News

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

At the Market

Raspberries
Sugar Snap Peas
Beets
Carrots
Cabbage
Lettuce
Salad Mix
Collard Greens
Swiss Chard
Radishes
Salad Turnips
Scallions
Mint
Basil
Summer Squash

Market Day on Dudley Street
Market Day on Dudley Street
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.

Got Bike?

The Boston Cyclists Union's will be offering simple repairs and tune-ups for free at the Dudley Town Common Farmers Market on the first Thursday of each month.

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Spinach

Spinach is an edible flowering plant in the family of amaranth. It is native to central and southwestern Asia. In 1533, Catherine de'Medici became queen of France; she so fancied spinach that she insisted it be served at every meal. To this day, dishes made with spinach are known as "Florentine" because Catherine came from Florence, Italy. Spinach, along with other green leafy vegetables, is considered to be a rich source of iron.

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Dudley Market News

Eat Healthier for Half the Price!

The Boston Bounty Bucks Program can double your Food Stamp/EBT/SNAP benefits. Any Food Stamp/EBT/SNAP purchase will be matched up to $10 at twenty Farmers Markets, including the Dudley Town Common Market. For example, if you spend $10 at the market with your EBT card, you can get an additional $10 to spend at the market. This is a great opportunity for Food Stamp/EBT/SNAP participants to get more fresh produce, fruit, or unprepared food at half the price. For a list of all twenty Boston Markets, click on http://thefoodproject.org/boston-bounty-bucks
Please spread the word!

At the Market

  • Lettuce
  • Salad Mix
  • Spinach
  • Collard Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Radishes
  • Salad Turnips
  • Baby Boc Choi
  • Scallions
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Mint
  • Zucchini

EBT/Food Stamp/SNAP, WIC and Senior Farmers Market Coupons, Debit and Cash Accepted!

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News from the Lincoln fields

This week you may be eating our lettuce. You and over 500 other families (as well as a few geese who like to visit the fields.) Some are CSA members, some are staff of The Food Project and some get the lettuce from a food pantry. That simple lettuce is also part of something much larger. The lettuce is grown as part of a youth development program that brings over 170 youth from diverse backgrounds together from the greater Boston area and the North Shore. They will plant, weed, harvest and learn about themselves and their place in our food system. Over 3,200 volunteers from middle schools and churches, investment companies and colleges come to work with us, envisioning a healthier food reality while working the land.

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The Legend of The Three Sisters

This week, we planted a combination of vegetables know as the Three Sisters with students from our partner schools. They enjoyed this story about the ways that plants can help each other

In a time before clocks and watches and trains and boats, and farms even, there lived ancient Spirit Children who could tell time from the setting of the sun and the colors in the sky. The Spirit Children were not like us for they could switch into different beings in the blink of an eye: One moment a human with two legs and two arms, the next moment a fox, swift and sly.

They lived to create life on earth such as plants and animals so that the world could be a beautiful place. They roamed freely and in peace with the eyes of Mother Sun and Father Moon watching over them from the skies with love in their hearts.

Among the Spirit Children there lived Three Sisters, no more alike in looks than in personalities. Sister Bean was tall and frail with green hair and graceful limbs. She was always dancing and twisting and twirling.

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Drip Tape for your Raised Bed

This past weekend I set up a drip tape irrigation system on my raised beds. While drip irrigation systems requires a little more upfront labor, the set up is relatively easy and inexpensive, and over the course of the season it will allow you to water less and more efficiently with less effort.

Drip irrigation allows a gardener to focus water where it is needed- at the base of the plants, focusing on the root zone. With overhead watering (which includes using a sprinkler or watering can) it is much harder to concentrate your irrigation efforts, resulting both in using more water than necessary and watering weeds and/or weed seeds that are undeserving of attention. Here are instructions on how to set this up (PDF) in your own beds.

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