Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Food Project, Boston City Farm

From Lincoln we jumped on trains and buses and headed for Dorchester. We couldn't miss their excellent painted office at West Cottage and Dudley streets.

We met up with Bob, who showed us around the 3 urban lots that The Food Project grows their produce on. The neighbourhood bore a striking resemblance to the artistic interpretation featured in their office.

Their West Cottage site features a composting system built by the university. It spins, it aerates, it spills out the bottom.

One of the most exciting things about visiting North American gardens was seeing produce that isn't commonly grown in Melbourne. These tomatillos are pre-packaged beauties.

I'd been wondering what Callaloo was after seeing it in a Jamaican restaurant. It's this beautiful green vegetable you see before you.

The Food Project's urban agriculture has had an astounding effect on the neighbourhood, with many people beginning to grow in their own urban lots. This resident looks out on his corn field from his back porch. We passed lot after lot of cornstalks. I wonder how they deal with cross-pollination with so much growing in just a few blocks.

One of the great things about these kinds of projects is the carry on effect they have on the neighbourhood. As we were walking back to the office, a man came up to Bob and asked about some of the people he had known at the Food Project. He was looking for landscaping work and needed a reference. He spoke so highly of his Food Project experience that we almost could have believed that Bob had set the whole thing up. (which he hadn't)

As Cammy from the Lincoln farm explained, supplying fruits for the Farmer's market can be difficult as the Food Project grows mostly vegetables. However, they've taken over management of a heritage orchard at the historic Shirley-Eustic House in Roxbury.

The Food Project was staffed by the most generous, committed, unpretentious people. They really went out of their way to pass their knowledge on to the Australians who rocked up on their doorstep.

No comments: