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Building Life Skills in the Garden

Stephanie Teaching in the Greenhouse
Stephanie Teaching in the Greenhouse
In August, The Food Project embarked on its second year as the Massachusetts host site for FoodCorps, a national nonprofit organization that works with schools to create a healthier school food environment. What follows is the first of a series of blogs profiling the FoodCorps members who are serving at The Food Project during the 2012-13 school year. 

 

"There's no [competition] to the flavor of something that is fresh and was just picked," says FoodCorps service member Stephanie Simmons. "I think that's why a lot of kids don't like vegetables - because they haven't had a chance to taste them at their best."

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Food Day Tour Highlights Agriculture in Dudley

Anna, Anthony, and Eli Lead the Tour
Anna, Anthony, and Eli Lead the Tour
On Saturday, Food Project staff, interns, community partners, and guests meandered their way around the Dudley Hub, visiting and learning about the various urban agriculture initiatives in the neighborhood. As they walked, they discussed the neighborhood highlights they saw, their own experiences with food and agriculture, and the implications of urban agriculture on this neighborhood and on the rest of the city. At one site, they paused to applaud a community gardener who had taken over an abandoned plot and donated the food he grew to hunger relief in his community. At another, they learned about the native Roxbury Russet apple variety, one of the oldest apple varieties cultivated in the United States.

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Autumn in the Dudley Greenhouse

The Community Bay
The Community Bay
While many of Massachusetts’ farms are harvesting their last crops of the season and preparing for rest, the Dudley Greenhouse is just starting to blossom. Food Project staff and community members spent the month of September welcoming new partners to the greenhouse and preparing for a winter of delicious vegetables.

In July, the Dudley Greenhouse received 18 applications from groups looking to grow food and learn together in the greenhouse's community bay. The greenhouse advisory group selected eight groups to share space and resources in the greenhouse during the upcoming year. The new groups include local elementary schools, community gardeners, and refugee groups. Each week, FoodCorps Service Member Marlie Wilson welcomes second and third grade classes from Mason and Winthrop Elementary Schools to the greenhouse to learn to grow food and explore gardening, nutrition, and plant science.

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Giving Common Challenge Starts Soon!


On Wednesday, October 10 and Thursday, October 11, The Food Project will be participating in The Boston Foundation's Giving Common Challenge. The Giving Common Challenge is a 36-hour online event to drive donations to participating nonprofits. From 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, Food Project supporters can donate to us through our profile on the Giving Common website. In addition to the donations collected, The Boston Foundation is offering $150,000 in prizes to participating organizations for various accomplishments, such as most money donated during particular time slots or the highest number of unique donors. Please check out our Giving Common profile and help us win some prizes! Gifts of any size are appreciated - from $25 to $5,000!

 

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Cooking Up Greens!

Judy Prepares Chard Before the Class
Judy Prepares Chard Before the Class
On Saturday, The Food Project held a cooking class called "One Vegetable, Four Ways" as part of our ongoing Grow Well, Eat Well, Be Well workshop series. The class focused on cooking with an assortment of hardy, leafy greens and learning techniques to use many varieties interchangeably. Food Project staff Kathleen Banfield and high school senior Judy Merisier led the class.

To begin, attendees tasted four types of sautéed greens – collards, Lacinato kale, Tyfon-Holland greens, and Japanese Sharaku spinach, all cooked individually - and talked amongst each other to compare flavors, textures, and what they liked or disliked about each variety. The tasting sparked great conversations, as people had varying opinions about their favorites and which one was most bitter! To highlight variations of a simple stir-fry, participants sampled greens cooked with coconut milk, and then with curry powder - both were well liked and delicious.

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Spotlight on Our Impressive Interns

Emil Leads a Neighborhood Tour
Emil Leads a Neighborhood Tour
For the past several weeks, while the Summer Youth Program participants were learning for the first time about The Food Project, 34 carefully selected teenagers from our pool of experienced youth took part in TFP's Summer Internship Program. Interns represent the most experienced youth staff at The Food Project. In the summer months, they learn in-depth skills in various aspects of TFP's programming, take initiative in leading activities and workshops for TFP youth and community members, and serve as role models for the youth in the Summer Youth Program. This summer, they did some pretty awesome and productive work.

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A Stupendous Summer of Youth and Food

2012 Greater Boston SYP Participants
2012 Greater Boston SYP Participants
With Labor Day right around the corner, we'd like to take a look back at the excellent summer of 2012. Summer is arguably the most exciting time at The Food Project. Our flagship Summer Youth Program is in full swing for seven weeks during July and August, and our youth interns are hard at work both on the farms and in our communities throughout the summer months. The farms are in full bloom; our farmers' markets and community-supported agriculture programs are going strong; and backyard gardens around the greater Boston area are turning out delicious vegetables, delectable herbs, and delightful flowers.

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Images of Spring at TFP

Over the past several months, Lewis Hine Documentary Fellow Chris Fowler has been photographing the happenings at The Food Project all over greater Boston and the North Shore. Here are a few images from Chris's camera that ilustrate late winter and spring at The Food Project. 

 


January - Local gardener Maria Barros leads friends and neigbhors in a Cape Verdean cooking class at The Food Project's Dudley Street office.

 


February - Community Food Associate Jennie Msall gardens with refugees and clinicians from the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights (BCRHHR) on a sunny winter afternoon in their raised beds in the Dudley Greenhouse.

 

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TFP Tomatoes Around Boston

The Enterprise Bay
The Enterprise Bay
As summer sets in, the Dudley Greenhouse's enterprise bay is starting to look like a lush jungle. In the enterprise bay, The Food Project grows tomatoes that are sold to restaurants and markets in the Boston area.

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Dudley Greenhouse Spreads Its Seedlings

Sayed Ali's Garden
Sayed Ali's Garden
This summer Sayed Ali's garden is blooming beautifully. Sayed runs the "Seed and Yield" program through the Nubian United Benevolent International Association (NUBIA). He brings together Sudanese youth to experience gardening, learn about nutrition, and build community through service. In addition, Sayed's group grows in two garden plots in the Dudley Greenhouse. This spring, Sayed and his group started 50 trays of mixed vegetables, or over 2500 seedlings, in the greenhouse. The seedlings were planted in community gardens around Boston, and the produce will be provided free to low-income community members.

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