You’re currently viewing The Food Project’s old blog. As part of our website relaunch in July 2009, we moved active blogging to http://thefoodproject.org/blog.
This site will be kept active indefinitely as an archive. All new posts will be at the above address. If you were subscribed to our blog feed, your reader should have been automatically redirected to the new feed.
On Monday, June 30th, Food Project interns worked alongside DSNI (Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative) youth to unload wood milled in Orange, MA to build 200 build-a-garden beds over the course of the next year.
Thanks to the Department of Conservation who drove the wood in and moved it off the truck, dealing with low lying wires and narrow streets! In just over an hour the wood was safely tucked away, and we
are gearing up to start building beds this coming Monday with our interns.
We are looking for more people to build gardens for over the course of the summer and fall. Help us spread the word! More information is available here:
Tips on harvesting lettuce
Harvesting is the fun part, and of course you don’t want to miss out after all your hard work! Be sure to harvest lettuce before it bolts upward. Lettuce tends to bolt in hot weather, and bolted lettuce is quite bitter. With looseleaf lettuce, you can harvest the outer leaves first to encourage new growth. Head lettuce varieties are mature when they are firm, well wrapped, and tight. To harvest mature lettuce, pull the plant out of the garden, cut roots with scissors, and quickly dip plant in cold water to maintain fresh, crispy lettuce. In the hotter months of summer, plant lettuce between or under larger plants to give it shade. And don’t forget to plant lettuce in succession (every 2-3 weeks) to ensure a regular crop!
A note about the soil in new raised beds
The Food Project’s raised beds are filled with compost. Sometimes the soil in new raised beds (those built in spring) still needs more time to settle. When this happens, gardeners might notice that plants stay the same size and do not appear to grow bigger. Usually, plants will take off by mid-July and eventually catch up in size and yield. Also, if this happens, by the second season, plants flourish easily in the raised beds. So, the bottom line is enjoy your gardens, have patience, and your gardens will thrive!
Raised bed report
Happy to report ours is thriving as well. We had our second salad (lettuce) last night and I made a big batch of pesto with the basil. The sugar snap peas are getting super tall. Sadly a raccoon (I think) got all our beans, so we need to plant more.
One motivated woman builds her own raised beds in Cambridge, MA using The Food Project’s How to Build a Raised Bed Manual (PDF).
The string helps gardeners figure out spacing of plants and follows the square foot method.
As part of a new marketing campaign to promote the Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care opening in Danvers this June, The Food Project is partnering with the North Shore Medical Center to help advance good health on the North Shore of Massachusetts.
“Every time a person clicks on the new Outpatient Care Center website, it will help support a donation to The Food Project,” says Laura Fleming, Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “Our goal is to both build awareness for our new facility in Danvers and give something back to the community.”
The Food Project’s North Shore site consists of three farms in Beverly, Ipswich and Lynn. Together, they are the site for our North Shore youth development work, where we hire 30 youth each summer to be a part of our Summer Youth Program. These youth will grow food and distribute it through farmers’ markets in Lynn, Gloucester, and Marblehead, a Community Supported Agriculture program, and through donations to hunger relief organizations on the North Shore.
Join The Food Project and fellow Build-a-Garden participants for a workshop on maintaining your garden. Topics include staking, pruning, weeding and more! Saturday, July 18, 10am-12pm at Build-a-Garden participant Abbey Cook’s house, Mattapan. For directions and to RSVP, email
Interested in requesting a workshop in your own neighborhood? Request a workshop on the form (downloadable here). Minimum of 8 Build-a-Garden participants required. Requests will be posted on the blog to invite others, and recruit the minimum number of participants.
A group of volunteers from Slow Food BU came to work on the farms in Roxbury this Saturday. Check out their blog here.
Chris Burns from Lincoln is the lucky winner of the 2009 Harley Davidson Road King Classic motorcycle. Thanks to all of you who bought tickets and supported three local farms: Codman Community Farms, The Farm School and The Food Project. An extremely big thank you goes to Chef Peter Davis of Henrietta’s Table who helped sell a bunch of tickets for us.