Upon opening the top of this (Olivia’s Organics) plastic lettuce container the other day, I was surprised, and pleased, to see a large, inside-cover-like sticker about The Food Project, which has long been one of my top five favorite (non-profit) organizations, since I worked with them almost ten years ago(?!). It turns out that The Food Project is one of several organizations supported by Olivia’s Organics.
As the large, inside-cover-like sticker notes, The Food Project operates urban farm sites on formerly abandoned blocks in the Dudley Square neighborhood of Boston. “On these farms you’ll find teenagers composting, planting seeds, watering, weeding and harvesting the fruits and vegetables that they have grown.” The Food Project, state the folks at Olivia’s Organics, “taught us about the power of urban farming, and the transformation that local, sustainable agriculture can have on neighborhoods and the children who live there.”
In addition to the lots in Boston, The Food Project has a 30-acres farm field in (suburban Boston’s) rural Lincoln. Both sites, suburban and urban, are cultivated by teams of teens from both urban and suburban neighborhoods (hence their moniker, “youth growing together.”)
(Note: the video is produced by Starbucks. But we’ll save the commentary on the benefits and detractions of corporate philanthropy for another time.)
As The Food Project website notes:
“Each year, we work with over 140 teens and thousands of volunteers to farm … nearly a quarter-million pounds of food without chemical pesticides, donating thousands of pounds to local shelters. We sell the remainder of our produce through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) crop “shares” and farmers’ markets. Locally, we educate urban gardeners about lead-contaminated soil and promote raised bed gardening by residents and organizations in Boston and Lynn.”
(Check out their extremely impressive rooftop garden next to the Boston Medical Center in the video below!)
Diverse communities. Healthy food. Sustainable, localized economies. The Food Project is supporting a smorgashboard (no pun intended) of key issues. Nice to see support (from Olivia’s Organics, which, by the way, is based in Chelsea, another neighborhood of Greater Boston) going their way.