Boston setting the pace for U.S. urban gardens

BostonUrbanGardensBoston is  home to ten urban gardening organizations, with mini-farms and gardens scattered all over the city in yards, vacant lots and rooftops. The city’s aim is to promote healthy local food production in metro areas throughout the nation, reports Each organization has its own mission and focus.

BERKELEY COMMUNITY GARDEN consists of 140 farmers on a piece of land located in Boston’s East End. The farmers grow a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs, provide tips and training to farmers and the farm is open to the public.

BLOOMBRICK URBAN AGRICULTURE is located in the heart of Cambridge, and these growers produce still-living microgreens, wheatgrass and select produce using both hydroponic and soil systems. Its aim is to promote and be an example of a sustainable city.

CITY GROWERS helps to reclaim discarded and unused parcels throughout the city for growing food, showing how intensive urban farms can be economically and environmentally sustainable. It offers members livable wages to increase production of inexpensive and nutritious food for local access.

CITYSPROUTS is a school gardening program that is incorporated into the public school curriculum, and provides nutritional food education in its classroom to garden program and also runs a summer intern program.

THE FOOD PROJECT is a personal and social development program for Massachussetts youth. It has several farms across the state and numerous urban farms in Boston. The food produced helps fund the Dudley Town Common farmers’ markets and a number of local food relief organizations.

GREEN CITY GROWERS transforms vacant space into organic urban farms in yards, rooftops and unused lots.

HIGHER GROUND FARM is 55,000 sq. ft. of produce flourishing atop the Boston Design Center. It sells greens, tomatoes and herbs to restaurants and this year will be offering community supported agriculture (CSA) shares, as well as selling produce at local farmers’ markets.

REVISION URBAN FARM is a community-based agricultural project which uses its fields to feed the homeless and families who are part of the Victory Programs. It offers information about sustainable farming and provides job training for the homeless and young people.

THE URBAN FARMING INSTITUTE OF bOSTON promotes public education, farmer training and government policy changes. Its mission is to contribute to healthy people and sustainable cities by bringing urban residents closer to food production.

URBAN HYDR-“o”-FARMERS garden  is located in a greenhouse on the Boston College campus. The farmers are high school students enrolled in the Hydroponics track of the College Bound program. This food is grown hydroponically year round and the produce is sold at Boston Farmers’ markets.

These are great projects and more power to them! Unfortunately, water would be a problem in many U.S. cities, even if they traded useless landscaping for edible plants. It’s often a matter of priorities, both private and public.



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