Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Food Project

As we're close to the beginning of spring, I wanted to introduce you to a great group in Massachusetts called "The Food Project". They have a farm in Lexington, as well as several urban farms, and apart from having a CSA system, they also teach young people about growing food, create square foot gardens in urban neighborhoods, and donate food to soup kitchens in the area. I've been really impressed with their commitment to excellence in what they do. Here I quote from their website.

The Food Project

“There is another way to live and think: it’s called agrarianism. It is not so much a philosophy as a practice, an attitude, a loyalty and a passion—all based in close connection with the land. It results in a sound local economy in which producers and consumers are neighbors and in which nature herself becomes the standard for work and production.” --Wendell Berry

"Our mission is to grow a thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system. We produce healthy food for residents of the city and suburbs and provide youth leadership opportunities. Most importantly, we strive to inspire and support others to create change in their own communities.

Since 1991, The Food Project has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Each year, we work with over a hundred teens and thousands of volunteers to farm on 31 acres in rural Lincoln, MA and on several lots in urban Boston. We consider our hallmark to be our focus on identifying and transforming a new generation of leaders by placing teens in unusually responsible roles, with deeply meaningful work.

Each season, we grow nearly a quarter-million pounds of food without chemical pesticides, donating half to local shelters. We sell the remainder of our produce through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) crop “shares” and farmers’ markets. We market our own Farm-Fresh Salsa, holiday pies, and other value added products. Locally, we also partner with urban gardeners to help them remediate their lead-contaminated soil and grow healthier food.

Nearly half of The Food Project’s work is as a resource center for organizations and individuals worldwide. We provide unique capacity building for organizations and educators who learn from The Food Project’s expertise through materials, youth training and professional development opportunities. Even projects completely unrelated to farming can draw on our methods for building inspired, diverse and productive youth communities."

Urban Gardening

(1) The Rooftop Garden
(2) Freezing Herbs
(3) Amazing Purple Peppers
(4) Our First Tomatoes