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Somali Gardeners Lead Cooking Workshop

RIAC coordinator Saida helps with the workshop.
RIAC coordinator Saida helps with the workshop.
Greenhouse gardeners Fadumo Khiere and Rahma Farah led friends, neighbors, and cooking enthusiasts in a cooking class about Somali food on Saturday, February 25 in the kitchen at The Food Project's office in Dorchester.

Fadumo and Rahma are gardeners from the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center (RIAC) who have been tending three garden plots in the Dudley Greenhouse for the past five months. In their plots, they are growing a variety of cold weather crops, including lettuce, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, cilantro, and cauliflower. Recently, they planted peas and green beans to be harvested in the coming months.

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Grow Well Workshop Tonight POSTPONED

Due to the snow forecasted for this evening, tonight's Grow Well Workshop 2: "Start Your Own Seeds" has been cancelled. The workshop has been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 7, from 6:00 - 7:30pm at the Dudley Greenhouse, 11 Brook Ave, Roxbury, MA.

Please contact Community Food Coordinator Danielle Andrews for more information about the rescheduled workshop.

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Refugees Share Culture in Dudley Greenhouse

TFP staff Jennie Msall works with BCRHHR members.
TFP staff Jennie Msall works with BCRHHR members.
Each Friday, a group of refugees and clinicians from the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights (BCRHHR) meet at the Boston Medical Center and walk the mile to the Dudley Greenhouse together. At the greenhouse, they are welcomed by TFP staffers Jennie Msall and Danielle Andrews, who lead them into the community bay, where they have been hard at work all winter. Soon, they sink their hands into the dirt and settle into the work of cultivating their three raised-bed gardens, in which they grow a variety of vegetables, including plants from their home countries. As they tend their crops, the refugees discuss their lives in Boston, methods for growing food in small spaces, and what they cook and eat here in Boston and in their home countries.

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“Eat Well” Features Somali Cuisine

Eat Well: Somali Cuisine
Eat Well: Somali Cuisine
The Food Project invites you to learn about Somali cuisine with Fadumo Kheire, who will present the second session in our “Eat Well” series of workshops. Fadumo is a community gardener with RIAC, one of nine groups working in the community bays in the Dudley Greenhouse. She will lead us in preparing two Somali dishes.

Eat Well: Connecting to gardens through culture and cooking
Cooking with Your Neighbor - Somali Cuisine
* Saturday, February 25, 12 - 1:30 p.m., RSVP REQUIRED

Download a flyer for more information.

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Local Gardener Leads Cooking Workshop

Maria Barros prepares bacalhau.
Maria Barros prepares bacalhau.
Local gardener Maria Barros led friends, neighbors, and food enthusiasts in a cooking class about Cape Verdean cooking at The Food Project’s office this Saturday, January 28.

The ten participants included Cape Verdean Bostonians eager to learn about their traditional cuisine, as well as many local gardeners. As they chopped vegetables for the class, the gardeners discussed last year's cabbage crop and their excitement to plant collard greens for the spring.

Barros led participants in preparing two traditional Cape Verdean dishes called Cachupa and Bacalhau. Cachupa is a stew that contains collard greens, beans, and corn. Bacalhau is a stew containing salted cod. After preparing the two dishes, participants dined together to taste their creations.

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Dedicated Teachers Make a Difference

Since October, six volunteers from the Northeastern University Civic Engagement Program have been volunteering their time each week with The Food Project as part of the Food Literacy Team. Every week, they visit the Dorchester and Gertrude E. Townsend Head Start centers to teach the children where their food comes from and how plants grow, encouraging them to be excited about eating vegetables and fruits. What follows is the first of a series of blogs to be written by members of the Food Literacy Team, by Caitlyn Fischman. She reflects on her experience volunteering at the Gertrude E. Townsend Head Start:

It has been a really long time since I have felt passionate about a cause. I feel it is important to educate kids about safe and healthy food choices when they are young, so I chose to volunteer with The Food Project.

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New TFP Workshop Series Starting Soon

Coming up soon at The Food Project, we’ll be presenting our new “Grow Well, Eat Well, Be Well” workshop series. In these sessions, we will explore gardening topics, share cultural recipes, connect you with other gardeners from your neighborhood, and more. These workshops are the beginnings of some exciting new opportunities coming up – you won’t want to miss them!

Grow Well: Bringing your gardening skills to a new level
Planning Your Garden
* Saturday, January 21, 10:00 – 11:30 A.M. OR
* Tuesday, January 24, 6:00 – 7:30 P.M.

This is the first workshop in our Grow Well series. Through this interactive workshop on designing your garden, you can get help with everything from planning its layout to ordering seeds. Other topics in this series will include: how to start seeds, planting tips, and how to dealing with pests and diseases.

Download a flyer for more information.

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Food Literacy Team launched



This fall, The Food Project is partnering with Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) and Northeastern University to pilot a new program called the Food Literacy Team. On weekday mornings during the 2011-2012 school year, TFP volunteers will be visiting the classrooms of the Dorchester and Gertrude E. Townsend Head Start centers in Dorchester to engage preschool students in food literacy and nutrition lessons.

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Governor proclaims Food Day at TFP farm

Governor Patrick digs in with a broadfork to loosen up carrots at Baker Bridge farm. --Photo by Christopher Fowler
Governor Patrick digs in with a broadfork to loosen up carrots at Baker Bridge farm. --Photo by Christopher Fowler
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick visited The Food Project this morning to celebrate Food Day and join us in harvesting food for local hunger relief efforts. TFP Director of Agriculture Tim Laird led the governor, Food Project youth, and a team from the Boston Area Gleaners working in the field to collect carrots and kale that might otherwise have not been harvested this season.

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Reflections on RIC 2011

The following blog was written by TFP Intern Keron Cruz. Keron, along with fellow intern Keely Curliss, represented The Food Project at the RIC (Rooted in Community) conference in late July 2011.

Two weeks ago, my coworker, Keely Curliss, and I had the opportunity to participate at the RIC (Rooted in Community) conference in Philadelphia, PA. The purpose of RIC is to bring together organizations all over the country who work in trying to make a difference in the food system and to learn from one another and promote the movement of food justice.

Despite working at The Food Project for about three-and-a-half years, I had never been involved in a conference where I had the chance to see organizations similar to The Food Project trying to create change. I had no idea what to expect from RIC and by the time the conference came to an end, I learned that there are hundreds on youth like myself who are working hard for a better tomorrow.

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