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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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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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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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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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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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