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Dudley Greenhouse Seeks Seedling Proposals

Lettuce and Collard Seedlings
Lettuce and Collard Seedlings
Though the weather is still getting chillier and chillier, here at The Food Project we are already dreaming of spring. In just a few short months, the Dudley Greenhouse will be a jungle of seedlings destined for our farms, neighbors' gardens, and community gardens around Boston. Benches that are currently lying flat on our radiant-heated floor and growing various winter lettuce crops will be boosted up onto cement blocks and filled with trays of baby tomatoes, peppers, beets, kale, and many other crops that will eventually make their way outside.

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New Workshops This Winter!

The Food Project is excited to announce that we will be offering a variety of new workshops this winter through our "Grow Well, Eat Well, Be Well" workshop series!

Our gardening workshops are taught by TFP staff and youth, and will focus on growing food during the winter and preparing your garden for the spring. During our cooking workshops, The Food Project invites local gardeners and cooks into our kitchen to share recipes from their respective cultures. Participants cook together and then celebrate with a sit-down meal. 

Participants are welcome to bring children to any of our workshops. Fun and structured children's activities will be available during all Saturday workshops.

This winter, the workshops will include:

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Nominate TFP for Seeds of Change!

Massachusetts FoodCorps Service Members
Massachusetts FoodCorps Service Members
Since August 2012, eight FoodCorps Service Members have been hard at work in communities across eastern Massachusetts educating children about growing and eating healthy food through hands-on garden- and kitchen-based learning. These ambitious young leaders are working in the communities of Dorchester, Roxbury, Lynn, and Gloucester to build and expand school gardens; facilitate gardening and cooking workshops; offer taste tests; and more.

To support the work of these young educators, The Food Project is applying for a "Share the Good" grant from Seeds of Change. This winter, Seeds of Change will award twelve $10,000 grants to community-based organizations to support programs that will enhance the environmental, economic, and social well-being of gardens, farms, farmers, and communities. These grants are intended to help organizations that are working to increase access to fresh, nutritious food through community outreach and education.

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A Week of Food Celebrations

Marlie Hands Out Smoothies
Marlie Hands Out Smoothies
Last month, The Food Project celebrated Food Day in grand style by hosting celebrations at our offices and farms and attending festive events across Massachusetts. Over a period of more than a week before, on, and after Food Day, TFP staff, youth, partners, and community members participated in food-focused tours, workshops, panels, and more.

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Fall Festival and Market

Winter Crops
Winter Crops
Please join The Food Project on Tuesday, November 20th for a Fall Festival and Market in the Dudley Greenhouse! From 4:00-7:00pm, we will hold a family fun event to celebrate fall, Thanksgiving, and the end of the harvest season. 

Produce from The Food Project's farms in Dorchester and Roxbury will be available for sale, including a variety of root vegetables and greens. Come buy delicious, fresh food to adorn your Thanksgiving table or to store away for the winter. As always, we accept SNAP/EBT, WIC coupons, senior farmers' market coupons, debit, and cash.

In addition, TFP youth interns will be running fun and educational activities for children and families. Outside the greenhouse, the Mei Mei Street Kitchen food truck will be selling some delicious snacks and drinks.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

 

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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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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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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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