The Food Project: Youth. Food. Community.

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North Shore CSA

The North Shore CSA is sold out for 2009. Please check back in the winter for 2010 signups.

Welcome to The Food Project's new website!

Welcome to The Food Project's new website! The 2004-2009 edition served us faithfully, but it was time for a rebuild. We've reorganized the site to better reflect our current programs and activities, so you'll be able to find what you're looking for more easily. You'll also see more and bigger photos throughout. The new site comes to you thanks to our friend Andrew Rodgers of Open Pixels and TFP's hard-working communications staff.

For those of you curious about the technology involved, we've built the new site using Drupal, an open source content management system. This move presents big improvements in functionality and cost-savings compared to the proprietary system used for the previous site. The improved back-end tools will allow us to keep things up-to-date more efficiently.

In case you're interested in seeing something as it appeared on the previous site, a mirror is still available at http://archive.thefoodproject.org, and old blog entries will remain at http://blog.thefoodproject.org.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering at The Food Project

We are often asked the following questions about the Serve & Grow program.

Where do we meet and how early should my group get there?
Groups volunteering in Lincoln will be at our Baker Bridge site.  Groups volunteering in Dorchester will meet at our West Cottage site.  All groups should arrive on site at 9:15am..  Please come on time as we begin our program promptly at 9:30am.


What is the work like?
Farming is hard work, depending on the season. You may be preparing beds, planting, harvesting, tending vegetables or cleaning up the land for 2 to 3 hours, rain or shine. Expect to get your hands and clothes dirty by the end of the morning.


What do I need to bring?
Work gloves, water bottles, sunscreen, and rain gear (depending on weather). We will supply all the tools you need to work in the field. If you have a medical condition such as asthma or anaphylaxis, please bring your inhaler or epi-pen and tell your group leader of your condition before working in the field.


What do I wear when working on the land?
Long pants and shirt are recommended for farm work. Close-toed shoes are required because you may be working with sharp tools. Keep in mind that you will get dirty, and be prepared for warm, cold, or wet weather. Bring extra layers and rain gear so that you are comfortable working in most weather conditions. A box of garbage bags is a good item to bring in case people in your group don’t bring rain gear.


Do we still work when it rains?
Yes, we work when it rains. The grower will tell TFP staff and group leaders to stop working when weather conditions are not conducive for fieldwork.


What about lunch and water?
We have a tent in Lincoln and a shelter in Roxbury under which participants can eat lunch. Feel free to bring your own lunch.  We have a water source available at each site.


How old do I have to be to work out on the land?
The age limit for individual volunteers is 17 or older.  High school seniors, who need to complete service hours, are invited to work as an individual volunteer on the land without an adult.  We ask that youth (under the age of 17) who need to complete service hours coordinate a group service day with the Serve & Grow Coordinator.  Please refer to Service Learning for Community and School Groups.

The minimum age for youth who participate in our Serve & Grow program as part of a group is 12.  Groups are asked to have a youth to adult ratio of at least 6:1.

Younger children are welcome to visit the farm with their family, but we are not able to accomodate them during work days on the farm.  We do ask that parents be responsible for the supervision of their children whenever visiting the farm.


How large a group can come do service on the land?
We can accommodate groups of up to 20 people in Roxbury and groups of up to 60 in Lincoln.


What if I have a physical ailment such as a bad back?
Please let us know before the day of your Serve & Grow program so that we can try to find an alternative task that is conducive for your physical or medical condition.


Why do individual volunteers need to fill out an emergency contact and medical form?
All individual volunteers must fill out the Individual Volunteer Emergency Contact and Medical Form.  They are available at the site on the first day you volunteer.  In case of an emergency while you are on the land, we would like to know who we can contact.


Can I volunteer in the summer?
No. The Serve & Grow program runs in the Spring (April through June) and in the Fall (mid-August through mid-November). During the Summer season (July through mid-August), our Summer Youth crews plant, harvest, and tend the land in Roxbury and Lincoln.


Why does The Food Project request a donation for the Serve & Grow Program?

The Food Project requests that each participating group in the Serve & Grow Program share in the costs of providing food to the hungry and for staff time by making a donation. These dollars translate directly into food- every $10 allows us to donate 10 pounds of vegetables to a shelter- enough to provide 20 servings of fresh vegetables for hungry people. For corporate groups, a $500 donation translates into a 1000 servings of vegetables for hungry people.


If you want to sign-up for a Serve & Grow program or need more information, please contact the Serve & Grow coordinator at (781) 259-8621 x30 or email [email protected].

Volunteers-Group

We grow 250,000 pounds of vegetables each year and that requires a lot of hands. The Food Project depends on over 2,000 youth and adults to assist us in growing food at our city lots and rural farmland in Eastern Massachusetts. The work that you do during a morning at The Food Project is essential to helping us achieve our goal of providing sustainably and locally-grown food for hungry people in shelters and residents of Boston’s inner city and suburbs. We couldn’t meet this goal without you.

We are looking for individuals who would like to volunteer on our farms in Lincoln and Roxbury during the months of April-June and September-November. We work on the land Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings, rain or shine. The work varies with season but includes planting, transplanting, weeding, soil preparation, harvesting and clean-up. The vegetables that you help to grow will feed hungry people at soup kitchens and shelters in Greater Boston, supply our inner city farmers markets, and be distributed through our Community Supported Agriculture program. You may find the work tiring, fun, or challenging, but you will certainly find it rewarding. No prior experience with farming is required.


How it Works
When:   Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Saturdays
                in the Spring: April - June
                in the Fall: August 28 - November 1
Times:   9:30am-12:30pm
Where:  Lincoln (Baker Bridge Farm) or Roxbury (West Cottage Street Lot)
Who:  Everyone 17 or over is welcome.  No Prior experience is necessary.  We will provide all the training you need.

For details about volunteering at one of our North Shore locations, click here.

Program Details
Individual volunteers are an important part of our agricultural program, especially those that can make a committment to help once or twice a week throughout the season.  The farm staff depends on them to help with planting, weeding, and harvesting, especially on those days when groups are not signed up.  Individuals help us run the wash station, set up the CSA, pack crates for distribution to the Farmers' Markets or hunger relief organizations, and even lead volunteer groups.

If you can not make a weekly committment, we understand and invite you to join us when you can. Please email us for details at [email protected].

We ask that individual volunteers be 17 years or older. High school seniors, who need to complete service hours, are invited to work as an individual volunteer on the land without an adult.  We ask that youth (under the age of 17) who need to complete service hours, coordinate a group service day with the Serve & Grow Coordinator.  Please refer to Service Learning for Community and School Groups.

All individual volunteers are asked to complete an Individual Volunteer Emergency Contact and Medical Form prior to working on the land.  We will provide you with the form on your first volunteer day.


Questions?
Please see our list of Frequently Asked Questions, and contact the Serve and Grow coordinator (info below) if you still have questions.


How do I sign up?
Contact the Serve and Grow coordinator at (781) 259-8621 x30 or email for more information [email protected].
 

Volunteers-Individual

We grow 250,000 pounds of vegetables each year, requiring many hands. The Food Project depends on over 2,000 youth and adults to assist us in growing food at our city lots and rural farmland in Eastern Massachusetts. The work that you do during a morning at The Food Project is essential to helping us achieve our goal of providing sustainably and locally-grown food for hungry people in shelters and residents of Boston’s inner city and suburbs. We couldn’t meet this goal without you.

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TFP Teleconference Series Recordings Available for Download

The Food Project is an organization focused on growth and development, of our crops, our youth, ourselves, our organization, and of others that we meet along the way. We have had many opportunities to collaborate on projects that support this focus.

One such project was our LIFT (Leaders in Food-Security Training) Teleconference Series. The series was a great chance for people from all over the country to share knowledge and learn from one another.

So much of the comments and information from these presentations and conversations is timeless and invaluable that we turn back to them occasionally as a key resource or training tool. Now, they’re available to download right here. Check out the topics below and let us know what you think.

Each recording is about 1 1/2 hours long and includes a presentation followed by open discussion. (Files are 5mb mp3’s and sound quality varies).

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  • An Open Letter to Michelle Obama

    Dear Michelle Obama,

    Congratulations on choosing to plant a food garden on the White House grounds.  Now imagine that mini-farm on the White House grounds being tended by youth from Washington DC!  Give young people the opportunity to contribute purposefully to their community by growing food for the hungry and caring for the land. The Food Project has been doing this for almost 20 years in the Boston area. What a great way to inspire other youth across the USA to literally see that the fruits of their labor can create change in their own communities.

    Hire a teenage farmer and challenge all of us to engage in a new way of thinking, acting, and being. Teens from across the district, together as a team, will plant the seeds of cooperation, community and pride as they grow, harvest and distribute the bounty of their shared labor. We believe in the ability to inform a new generation of leaders by placing teens in responsible roles, with deeply meaningful work.

    The Food Project has been guided by the belief that community is created by providing common ground - in toiling, harvesting and sharing of the bounty.   We celebrate collaboration, cooperation and the value of a hard day’s work. A White House Garden tended by teens from across the city’s social, racial and economic neighborhoods can inspire a youth movement across the land.

    When youth experience the value of labor and service while building a diverse and effective community they discover and develop their talents, make friends and test themselves physically, mentally and emotionally. Inviting youth to serve and to take risks offers a chance to see oneself and the world differently and encourages the same in each volunteer, neighbor, and friend.

    Thank you.

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    Tax ID: 04-3262532

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