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from the fields

The Food Project's blog

Build-a-Garden visit

 garden builders
garden builders

Food Project interns, Widline Charles, 18, and Max Rollins, 16, visit with Build-a-Gardener Amit Virmani in Jamaica Plain.

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Lincoln/Boston CSA Newsletter, Week 8

CSA Potluck

The CSA Potluck will be this Thursday, July 23, on the Baker Bridge Farm, at 5:30pm.
80 Concord Road in Lincoln.

The insects we don't love

Insects seem to be thriving this year. Unfortunately for us that means the mosquitoes and cucumber beetles are going strong as are the dragonflies and ladybugs. Insect pest pressure has reached frightening levels in many crops but the worst has been the hungry hordes of Colorado Potato Beetles which reduced our early potato varieties to skeletal stalks, old testament-plague style. This wasn't a complete loss as we had planned to harvest some varieties as tiny new potatoes anyway. Thankfully, our later varieties are faring better, retaining some of their leaves, though they will likely end up smaller than they would have been.

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NS CSA Newsletter Week 5

News from the farm

The past week of sunshine has been a welcomed change for us farmers. In rapid succession we have pulled our stellar crop of garlic, spaded in spent crops making way for new beds in both Beverly and Ipswich, transplanted crops such as summer squash, lettuce, collards, and kale out of the greenhouse, and direct seeded carrots, cilantro, dill, green beans, and lettuce mix.

We have been hard at work making contingency plans to help cover shortfalls caused by our waterlogged Ipswich land. In addition to supplementing shares with vegetables from our farm in Lynn, we are working with a local farm to get tree fruit (hopefully peaches and apples) for the shares, which will start appearing in your box as it becomes available.

If you want to get an idea of our day to day work in the fields, please check out my updates at

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This Week at TFP's Farmers' Markets

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

Bowdoin Street Health Center Farmers Market
230 Bowdoin St, Dorchester
Thursdays 2:30-6:30pm

Boston Medical Center Farmers Market!
Main Lobby, Massachusetts Ave.
Fridays 11am-2pm

This week we'll have: Green Beans, Potatoes, Snap Peas, Kolrabi, Garlic, Raspberries, Radishes, Beets, Carrots, Summer Squash, Scallions, Cabbage, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard, Head Lettuce, Basil, Cilantro, Chives, Parsley, Mint

Playing catch-up

We've all been warmed the last few days by the sun on our backs, the energy of the youth who work with us and the delightful sight of pollinators in flight. Our tomatoes, eggplants and peppers are still several weeks behind previous years. Now flowers are opening and pollinators are in action again after several weeks of waiting out the rain. The wet weather has been hardest on our tomatoes.

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18 Years of Commitment

Two weeks ago, a hundred people gathered underneath the tent on the Lincoln farm to say thank you and farewell to Greg Gale, who has spent the last 18 years of his life dedicated, committed, and invested in work of The Food Project.  Much of what The Food Project is today is due to the heart of Greg Gale.  The send-off for Greg was a testament to his time here. 

Marcus B. who started as a youth in 1998








Elise, who started as a crew worker in 1993, came back as staff and ended up being the grower on the Lincoln land for three years.










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Welcome to The Food Project's new website!

Welcome to The Food Project's new website! The 2004-2009 edition served us faithfully, but it was time for a rebuild. We've reorganized the site to better reflect our current programs and activities, so you'll be able to find what you're looking for more easily. You'll also see more and bigger photos throughout. The new site comes to you thanks to our friend Andrew Rodgers of Open Pixels and TFP's hard-working communications staff.

For those of you curious about the technology involved, we've built the new site using Drupal, an open source content management system. This move presents big improvements in functionality and cost-savings compared to the proprietary system used for the previous site. The improved back-end tools will allow us to keep things up-to-date more efficiently.

In case you're interested in seeing something as it appeared on the previous site, a mirror is still available at, and old blog entries will remain at

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Want a Harley? Enter to win!

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TFP Teleconference Series Recordings Available for Download

The Food Project is an organization focused on growth and development, of our crops, our youth, ourselves, our organization, and of others that we meet along the way. We have had many opportunities to collaborate on projects that support this focus.

One such project was our LIFT (Leaders in Food-Security Training) Teleconference Series. The series was a great chance for people from all over the country to share knowledge and learn from one another.

So much of the comments and information from these presentations and conversations is timeless and invaluable that we turn back to them occasionally as a key resource or training tool. Now, they’re available to download right here. Check out the topics below and let us know what you think.

Each recording is about 1 1/2 hours long and includes a presentation followed by open discussion. (Files are 5mb mp3’s and sound quality varies).

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An Open Letter to Michelle Obama

Dear Michelle Obama,

Congratulations on choosing to plant a food garden on the White House grounds.  Now imagine that mini-farm on the White House grounds being tended by youth from Washington DC!  Give young people the opportunity to contribute purposefully to their community by growing food for the hungry and caring for the land. The Food Project has been doing this for almost 20 years in the Boston area. What a great way to inspire other youth across the USA to literally see that the fruits of their labor can create change in their own communities.

Hire a teenage farmer and challenge all of us to engage in a new way of thinking, acting, and being. Teens from across the district, together as a team, will plant the seeds of cooperation, community and pride as they grow, harvest and distribute the bounty of their shared labor. We believe in the ability to inform a new generation of leaders by placing teens in responsible roles, with deeply meaningful work.

The Food Project has been guided by the belief that community is created by providing common ground - in toiling, harvesting and sharing of the bounty.   We celebrate collaboration, cooperation and the value of a hard day’s work. A White House Garden tended by teens from across the city’s social, racial and economic neighborhoods can inspire a youth movement across the land.

When youth experience the value of labor and service while building a diverse and effective community they discover and develop their talents, make friends and test themselves physically, mentally and emotionally. Inviting youth to serve and to take risks offers a chance to see oneself and the world differently and encourages the same in each volunteer, neighbor, and friend.

Thank you.

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Now What? Seven Priorities for the Food Movement in the Age of Obama and Why Young People Will Lead the Way

by Anim Steel

“Is a sustainable food strategy on Obama’s menu?” asked Derrick Jackson in a December 30, 2008 Boston Globe column.  Don’t depend on it, he concluded, despite some pretty encouraging signs from the Obama camp.  The new president will face serious “blowback” from the agribusiness industry, he noted.  That’s a lobby that Michael Pollan described as the second most powerful in DC.

So if Obama doesn’t lead the way, who will?  And even if he proves to be a champion of sustainable food policy, what will bridge the enormous gap between vision and reality? What will force revolutionary change all the way from Capitol Hill to the corner store?

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