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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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Common Boston Celebrates Food Day


October 16 - also known as World Food Day - marked the start of nearly two weeks of events here in Boston and around the country to highlight the wealth of activities and opportunities around food in our communities. On Tuesday evening, TFP Director of Community Programs Brandy Brooks joined Vivien Morris of the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition and Karen Spiller of the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness for a roundtable discussion on urban agriculture and food justice hosted by Common Boston.

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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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Food Day is Coming!

What is Food Day?  
Food Day is a nationwide celebration of and movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Join your community for this series of events and day of action on October 24! Food Day aims to bring us closer to a food system with “real food” that is produced with care for the environment, animals, and the women and men who grow, harvest, and serve it. On October 24, thousands of events will take place across all 50 states to celebrate.  
Will you join us?
 
 

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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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Governor Patrick Visits the Dudley Hub

Governor Patrick at the West Cottage Farm
Governor Patrick at the West Cottage Farm
On Tuesday, September 18, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Commissioner of Agriculture Greg Watson joined representatives from The Food Project (TFP), the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), and Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE) to tour urban agriculture initiatives in Boston's Dudley Street neighborhood. The group visited The Food Project's urban farm on West Cottage Street, the Dudley Greenhouse on Brook Avenue, and several community gardens on Brook Avenue. Along the way, Governor Patrick chatted with neighborhood growers about their gardens, what they are growing, and why gardening is important to them. "It was exciting to see how much of an agriculture supporter our governor is," remarked TFP Director of Community Programs Brandy Brooks, “and how knowledgeable and interested he is [in urban agriculture].

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City Council Recognizes TFP's Twentieth

The Food Project at the Boston City Council
The Food Project at the Boston City Council
At the opening of the Boston City Council meeting on Wednesday, City Councilor Felix G. Arroyo recognized The Food Project for our work in youth development, sustainable agriculture, and community engagement over the past twenty years. Councilor Arroyo presented a proclamation of the City Council of Boston congratulating TFP on our twentieth anniversary and commending us for many years of outstanding service to the communities of Boston. Executive Director Selvin Chambers, Board Chair Eugene Benson, Communications Director Ki Kim, and Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator Elena Martinez were present to receive the honors on behalf of TFP. At the end of the presentation, Chambers spoke to TFP’s commitment to our mission of supporting what he calls the “pyramid of hope”: youth, food, and community.

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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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TFP and Food Day '12


In celebration of Food Day 2012, The Food Project will be teaming up with partners to provide tours and educational programming that highlights the vibrancy of growing activities in the communities where we collaborate. Under the banner of “Grown in…” we’ll be presenting an array of tours led by Food Project youth highlighting innovative growing efforts in Dorchester, Roxbury, Lynn, and Gloucester, Mass. These tours will conclude with presentations by Food Project youth of workshops addressing food systems, and food access and sovereignty. These workshops were developed largely by the youth themselves, and they are designed to inform and inspire audiences to take action on the critical issues facing our society around food.

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