West Cottage and Langdon Street Farms
Boston’s Dudley neighborhood, which includes parts of Roxbury and North Dorchester, is a vibrant, diverse community with deep interest and expertise in food. Historically the center of Boston’s black community, the neighborhood is still predominantly African-American, with significant populations of Latino and Cape Verdean families.
Like many city neighborhoods in America, Dudley weathered waves of systemic disinvestment throughout the 20th century, including racially discriminatory housing policies and rampant arson-for-profit by absentee landlords. By the early 1980s, one-third of the land in the neighborhood was vacant and routinely subjected to illegal dumping.
In response, Dudley residents came together to assert their right to control the rebuilding of their neighborhood. Organizing themselves as the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, they developed a shared vision for a new urban village. They imagined a farm as part of their community, and they invited The Food Project to help make it real.
Today, the youth, staff, and neighbors of The Food Project cultivate two acres of previously vacant land on West Cottage Street and Langdon Street, and a 10,000-square-foot greenhouse. Walk by these spaces on a summer day and you may find young people from The Food Project getting first-hand experience working in urban agriculture, as well as adult residents harvesting food from their garden plots. The food harvested from these farm sites supports the Dudley Town Common Farmers’ Market and neighborhood stores and restaurants. Any extra produce is donated each week to local hunger relief organizations.
All the land that The Food Project stewards in Boston is permanently owned by the Dudley community through the Dudley Neighbors, Inc. community land trust. Click for directions to West Cottage Street or Langdon Street.