The Food Project: Youth. Food. Community.

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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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Summer Youth Program Begins

Summer Youth Program 2010
Summer Youth Program 2010
Monday, July 2 marks the first day of The Food Project's Summer Youth Program. The Summer Youth Program, known casually as SYP, is our flagship youth program. Since the summer of 1992, we have been bringing together youth from diverse backgrounds to experience "personal change through sustainable agriculture." The teenagers in SYP grow and distribute vegetables on our urban and suburban farms, work at hunger relief organizations, and gain skills in leadership, diversity, teamwork, and civic participation.

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Summer Interns Set to Shine

Interns Speak at a Community Lunch
Interns Speak at a Community Lunch
On Tuesday morning, 34 eager teenagers gathered at The Food Project's farm in Lincoln, Mass., to start their summer. These teenagers are The Food Project's summer interns -- our most experienced youth staff members. They have all gone through the Summer Youth Program, and many continued to work with TFP through the Academic Year Program. They are well-versed in all areas of TFP programming and are experienced leaders and facilitators.

The summer interns are divided into groups, each specializing on certain parts of The Food Project's operations. Nine of the thirty-four interns this summer will work at TFP's farm in Lincoln, Mass. These nine interns are agriculture specialists: they will be the point people for food production and distribution at the farm, and will collaborate with the farm staff to deliver sustainable agriculture workshops for youth in the Summer Youth Program.

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Tomato Day at the Dudley Greenhouse

Attendees prepare to transplant.
Attendees prepare to transplant.
On Saturday, March 24, 15 community members enjoyed a day at the Dudley Greenhouse for The Food Project's tomato planting event. First, the group helped to plant tomato seedlings in the greenhouse’s enterprise bay. The tomato plants were started as seeds at Atlas Farm in Western Massachusetts, which belongs to The Food Project's former urban grower.

On Saturday morning, TFP intern Emily Walls explained how to plant the tomato seedlings to the group. She demonstrated digging a deep hole where there was a patch of fertilizer, gently placing the tomato in the hole, and patting soil firmly around the plant. After the demonstration, volunteers worked in pairs, speedily getting all 800 tomatoes in the ground.

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Mother Caroline Students Discover Growing

A Student Plants Collards
A Student Plants Collards
Standing in a misshapen circle in the center of the Dudley Greenhouse's community bay, 12 middle school girls share their favorite food memories. They share delicious stories about eating new foods during their travels, sweet stories about cooking with their families, and funny stories about sharing snacks with their friends at school.

It is the first day in the greenhouse for a new group of 5th through 8th grade girls from the Mother Caroline Academy in Dorchester, Mass. Girls from Mother Caroline have been visiting their four raised-bed gardens in the community bay of the greenhouse each week since the fall of 2011. The students grow vegetables in the greenhouse, learn about food systems and food justice, and visit Cooking Matters to learn to cook some of the vegetables that they have grown.

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Bringing Celery to Life in the Schoolyard

Serving Pickles in the Cafeteria
Serving Pickles in the Cafeteria
This year, The Food Project has served as the Massachusetts host site for the brand new FoodCorps fellowship program. FoodCorps is an Americorps-affiliated fellowship program that deploys service members across the country to battle childhood obesity by teaching nutrition and helping to bring high-quality, healthy food to public schools.

Service Member Grace Cherubino works at Beeman's Elementary School and Veterans Elementary School in Gloucester, Mass. She runs in-school and after-school programming, helps to start school gardens, and works with teachers, administrators, and community groups to bring more nutrition to Gloucester public schools. The following blog was written by Grace about an elementary school lesson about celery. Check out the Gloucester FoodCorps blog for more pictures and stories.

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Interns Display Power of Knowledge

Interns at Gila Cliff Dwellings
Interns at Gila Cliff Dwellings
The presentation began in a dark room with four green-clad presenters facing away from the audience. When the audience quieted, a slide show played images of teens working the land at an urban farm, selling produce at a market, and cooking together. When the music from the slide show ended, the audience’s attention returned to the backs of the four presenters. In turn, each presenter rotated to face the audience to speak freely on his or her chosen topic. When the next presenter felt it was time to switch, he or she turned to the front and interrupted the narrative. And so the audience heard four piecemeal stories of diversity, land, food, and personal change that aimed to describe the experience of working with The Food Project.

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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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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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Interns in the Garden

[The first part of this blog was written by Sylvia, a TFP summer intern. In the second part, Sylvia is the featured gardener in this month’s installment of "A Week in My Garden."]

TFP Intern Sylvia at work on her raised-bed garden.
TFP Intern Sylvia at work on her raised-bed garden.
My name is Sylvia and I am one of the twelve Boston interns at The Food Project. Our internship is divided into three groups in which we rotate: Agriculture (AG), Teaching through Agriculture (TAG), and Build-a-Garden (BaG).

During our time in AG we get the opportunity to teach community members about the food system through our Food Choices Workshop. As part of TAG, we have the opportunity to educate and inform children from the ages of 5 to 18 about healthy food choices at our Urban Learning Farm (ULF).

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