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from the fields

The Food Project's blog

Water Safety for Gardeners

In response to this question from a BaGer:

Is it safe to water food gardens with the water? Or, do I need to boil water and then water the garden?

This is what I found on the state website:

Houseplants and Gardens

Water can be used without treatment for watering household plants and garden plants. The exception would be things like strawberries or tomatoes where the water would contact the edible fruit.

Based on this, I suppose you should technically only water plants that don't have any edible parts. I watered my strawberries because they're not fruiting yet, but maybe avoid watering spinach because you eat the leaves. Hope this helps. Sounds like the water pipe will be fixed shortly.

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Voting for a School Garden

Garden Vote Poster
Garden Vote Poster
School gardens are a popular trend these days, full of promising hands-on lessons from nutrition to science and beyond. Organizing a school community to utilize a garden both during school time and in the summer months can be a challenge in and of itself. The Brickett Elementary School in Lynn is off to a successful start.

fresh raised bed
fresh raised bed
A raised bed was installed by volunteers from General Electric this month. Students from Brickett recently voted on what type of garden they wanted to have. Perhaps surprisingly, the salad garden was voted the winner by students, promising to bring in a healthy harvest!

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Working with City Year

Editor's note: Here's an account from intern Keely Curliss on an event our interns ran for City Year.

interns and youth from City Year training
interns and youth from City Year training
Two weeks ago I arrived for the first time at the Huntington St. YMCA at the early hour of 8am. I was happy to find the other 16 interns that I currently work with already practicing away at the presentations we had been working to develop since the fall. I quickly found my place in the group of ‘openers’ who were working on the introduction presentation that we would be delivering in a short hour. John looking exhausted from all the energy and time he had put into this day gathered us around, “Are you guys ready?” he asked. We all responded in our groggy “I definitely didn’t get enough sleep” way, that in fact we were ready and excited to be the first youth to run the curriculum aspect of City Year’s day.

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Planning a Raised Bed

Editor's note: here's the latest from staff Build-a-Gardener Kesiah.

grid 1
grid 1
After planting some peas, spinach and swiss chard, and failing to water them for a few weeks, I was surprised to find that they had still decided to grow on their own. With renewed hope that I still just might have a green thumb, I post my garden plans for the remainder of the growing season.


grid 2
grid 2
If you are disorganized or nervous about your garden I encourage you to look in the back of your Growing Guide for similar charts, it really helped me figure out exactly when to plant all of my veggies and to estimate when they can be harvested. The harvest times are located on each seed packet and some of the other information located right in your trusty Growing Guide.

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Upgrading our Farm Equipment

Tim shows off new gear
Tim shows off new gear
Over the last few years, The Food Project's stable of farm equipment has been showing its age. Each season we'd spend more money and staff time on maintenance, and suffer through increasingly inefficient operations. Worse, our equipment's limitations made it difficult to maintain the long-term health of our land.

This all changes with our new gear, selected by Lincoln farmers Tim
Laird and Miriam Stason. Tim and Miriam used their knowledge of the state of the art in small-scale sustainable vegetable growing practices to put together a set of farm machinery that should allow our farmers to improve plant and soil health throughout all phases of the season.

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Local Harvest of Another Kind

B&G Oysters of Boston is throwing a party. Come join the fun, help
support The Food Project and enjoy the 'fruits' of a different local harvest!
 

Island Creek Oysters brings in the harvest in Duxbury, MA
Island Creek Oysters brings in the harvest in Duxbury, MA

OYSTER INVITATIONAL
to benefit the Food Project

Sunday, May 2, 2010
12:00-6:00pm

 

Kick off summer and celebrate the beginning of B&G Oysters’ patio season with our 2nd annual Oyster Invitational!


Join us for a day filled with friendly (and tasty) competitions, oysters, cold beer and oyster-friendly wines, an amazing silent auction that benefits The Food Project, and "Beer & Bivalves" classes across the street at Stir (at 1:00, 3:00, or 5:00pm).

Tickets are available by calling 617.423.0550 or visiting B&G Oysters and are $65* per person. Ticket price includes admission, two drink tickets, competition small plates, food from our grill and fry stations, and oysters! For those interested in the "Beer & Bivalves" class, tickets for both the Invitational and the Stir class are $85* per person.

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Keeping Cats out of your Raised Bed

A Build-a-Garden participant recently asked:

My vegetables are starting to grow (which is great!) but the neighborhood cats (feral but fed by kindly people) are using the raised garden beds as a litter box! I've tried a bunch of different suggestions that I found online (bamboo skewers, foil balls, cinnamon, coffee grounds, citrus peels...) but nothing seems to help. I saw a device that is like a sprinkler with a motion detector that would probably work but it cost $53.00:( Do you have any ideas that are cheaper than this.

Reply by Kathleen

Cats can be a pain in the garden, as much as I love them!

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New Greenhouse in Boston!

Planning the Greenhouse Buildout
Planning the Greenhouse Buildout
TFP's Community Food Coordinator Danielle Andrews introduces our new Boston Greenhouse

As a vegetable grower, both in my backyard and at The Food Project, I'm excited about season extension. For me, the most satisfying harvest begins by brushing the snow from the collard greens. I look for new growth on my plantings of greens, cilantro and parsley in the earliest days of spring. In my six years as The Food Project's Urban Grower in Boston I took deep pleasure in offering a varied mix of crops at the first farmers’ market each June. So you can imagine my excitement to be working on The Food Project's newest enterprise. We are launching a year-round greenhouse that will increase community access to fresh, healthy foods, as well as provide space for individuals to learn and grow their own produce.

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Meet a Fellow Build-a-Gardener

Build-a-Garden in 3D
Build-a-Garden in 3D
TFP Staffer Kesiah Bascom will be keeping up a Build-a-Garden this year too! 

Excitement takes form in many strange ways. Some people shiver and shake or talk and laugh uncontrollably. Voices rise and arms flail. Eyes widen to the size of saucers until it appears that they will pop out of skulls and fly down streets. This year I will be an Urban Farmer just like you and am currently beside myself with each form of excitement!

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Sprouting and Microgreens Skillshare

DIO (Do It Ourselves) Skillshare's Sprouting and microgreens skillshare

Sunday, May 16, 2010 1:30-3:00pm

Friends Meeting at Cambridge (Friends' room)
5 Longfellow Park, Harvard Square, Cambridge
For More Info: Call Ellie or Jules 617-492-2340

In this free skillshare, you will learn the techniques of sprouting seeds in jars, and growing microgreens (mini-greens) in trays. We cover common problems, where to get inexpensive supplies, and the many benefits of growing and eating sprouts and microgreens. Ellie and Jules have eight years experience as raw fooders and use sprouts and mcirogreens as a mainstay of their daily diet.

This skillshare is sponsored by the Cambridge Quaker Earthcare Witness Committee of Friends Meeting at Cambridge.

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