Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We've moved!

In order to prepare for the upcoming Community Food Assessment, we've migrated our blog over to http://lowellfoodsecurity.wordpress.com/ Please update your feeds, and come visit us at the new site!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cape Ann Fresh coming to the Lowell Farmers Market

Hey Folks,
Check out the City Manager's Blog: http://lowellma.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/new-csa-opportunity-local-fresh-and-sustainably-caught-seafood-coming-to-lowell/

New CSA Opportunity – Local, Fresh and Sustainably Caught Seafood Coming to Lowell’s Farmers Market

“ Want to take part in Lowell’s newest sustainability initiative?”
Send an email to lowell@capeannseafood.com
With summer right around the corner, Cape Ann Fresh Catch (CAFC)- Community Supported Fishery (CSF) is pleased to announce that it will be joining this year’s LOWELL FARMERS MARKET with a fresh seafood deliveries set to start at the beginning of July. The fish is locally caught, fresh and delicious and the price is right—this program offers a sustainable and fun way to try something interesting and new this summer! Along with unparalleled freshness and flavor, this fish also comes with an added benefit: peace of mind.
While enjoying into your locally caught dinner, you can pat yourself on the back for being green and supporting the local economy as well. CAFC fish is caught by community-based fishermen using sustainable fishing methods. Also, CAFC provides these local fishermen with a fair, higher-than-average price for their catch- helping many of them to stay in business during these tough economic times.
During its two years in operation, CAFC has been pleased to provide its share-members with such varieties as bluefish, hake, monktail, pollock, skate, whiting, and red fish, as well as staples like cod, haddock and flounder. Because of our simple and direct boat-to-consumer model, the fish is usually swimming the morning before it hits your plate- completely unprocessed and never frozen. CAFC seafood is good for the local economy, good for the environment, and good for you!
Deliveries are scheduled on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and as whole fish or fillets to best suit your family’s needs. You can pick up your fish at THE LOWELL FARMERS MARKET at JFK PLAZA on FRIDAYS from 4-6pm. Please see the CAFC website for more information on the program and to sign up for the new season: www.capeannfreshcatch.org.  The program has gained national press attention, for more see this article in Saveur Magazine.
Before CAFC can come to Lowell, at least 50 people must express an interest in signing up by emailing lowell@capeannseafood.com be sure to spread the word so this great program can come to Lowell!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shelter Garden in Atlanta

Nice profile of urban ag/food security project at Atlanta Mission shelter, thought folks might be interested!

"We eat what we get. It’s not like I can say ‘I’m going to eat something healthy,'" says Joel, a resident of a downtown Atlanta shelter.

For Joel, and other homeless people like him, having a meal does not mean choosing between an organic pear and gorgonzola salad or locally-grown arugula with artisanal cheese. Instead, food options boil down to one thing: sustenance. The food is received mostly by donation, which means it's often cheap, non-perishable, and generally less than healthy.

However, one Atlanta nonprofit, the Atlanta Mission, has recently taken the term “community garden” to a new level by adapting a vacant lot in the downtown area and transforming it into a garden filled with raised vegetable beds. It's tended daily by the very men who inhabit the shelter and whose bounty will benefit the shelter’s kitchen.

This plot is manned by the most unassuming and unlikely gardeners. Ty, a former gang member with tattoos on his face, and Joel, a recovering addict, spend half their day pulling weeds, watering and pruning the multiple-bed garden in hopes that they’ll be able to harvest a successful bounty of fresh produce by the end of the season.

These men aren’t strangers to the canned vegetables and processed starches that fill the shelves of the shelter’s kitchen, so they recognize the importance of the garden. “We get what we get,” Joel said. “This garden’s going to take a lot of the slack of eating healthy.”

Both men were a part of the garden from the groundbreaking on March 19, 2011, and both have seen the seeds that were sown grow into plants. Ty smiles as he said, “I just loved seeing it come from a seed. They’re our babies. I planted one and named it Zeus.”

For these men, the garden and the act of gardening mean a variety of things beyond the food itself.

“It’s not just about eating a tomato sandwich, but about doing something and seeing an end result. It’s just a real privilege to do something that feels like I’m a part of something,” Joel mentioned.

“I can just think while I’m out here. I look back at my life and think about where I want to go,” says Ty.

With reactions like these, it seems the garden’s aim has hit its mark, providing a space to think and belong for the men of the Atlanta Mission.

The project was dreamt up and put together by the Atlanta Mission with the help ofSkanska, a project and construction development group, after a vacant lot between the two groups’ buildings sat overrun by weeds and used as a homeless camp.

“If these guys are growing their own food, it’s still ending homelessness in a way. It’s very easy to find passion in this,” said Atlanta Mission representative Joshua Harrelson.

For both Ty and Joel, a personal mission has blossomed. “I think it wasn’t a mistake that I’m here. There’s a bigger picture and I want to be a part of it. What we’re doing here is what we’re doing with ourselves. Pulling the weeds and putting in good food,” said Joel.

Both men have high hopes for the garden and are pleased with what they’ve done for it and it has done for them so far. In calling it “our own little Garden of Eden,” Ty reminds himself that the bounty that comes from community gardens like this one is fruitful for everyone involved.

For more information on the garden itself and ways to get involved, visit atlantamission.org/garden

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Boston Truck Farm!


Attached is a flyer about the Boston Truck Farm. Truck Farm is an initiative that started a few years ago in Brooklyn and is aimed at bringing the experience of connecting with food into the hearts of cities. In Boston, like in Brooklyn, we've planted a garden in the bed of a pickup truck. This summer we'll be bringing the truck all over the Boston area to organizations, groups, and programs who want to learn or teach about food justice, urban agriculture, and sustainable healthy eating. We'd love to come visit your youth program, religious group, workplace, or anywhere else you want to have us. Check out the flyer for more information about the Boston Truck Farm and http://truck-farm.com/ for information about the whole movement. If you're interested in talking more, email us at bos.truckfarm@gmail.com and feel free to forward this message to whomever you think might be interested.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Charlie and Erin

Boston Truck Farm
The farm that comes to you

Who we are- We’re part of a national fleet of truck farmers, dedicated to making healthy, sustainable food accessible to everyone. We’re growing delicious fresh vegetables in the back of a pickup truck so that we can bring our enthusiasm and knowledge about local sustainable agriculture to anyone who wants to share it. We would love to visit your organization.

What we do-
As part of our visit we can:
  • Teach our own curriculum about the food system to any age group or audience
  • Work with you to design a personalized lesson or activity
  • Bring our mobile classroom and let you take over
  • Provide resources about other organizations doing similar awesome projects
  • Harvest to table activities

We’re always open to and excited about new ideas about how to use our truck farm!



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

RFP for Farm Fresh Coupon Program!

Hey FSC members- this could be a great project for Lowell, any interest in submitting an RFP?

Dear friends,

The Food Project is excited to have released a Request for Proposals
for Boston organizations to partner with us on our Farm Fresh Coupon
Program in the summer of 2011!

The RFP can be downloaded from our website at:

We are seeking partner agencies to work with us on this program,
distributing farmers’ market coupons as a component of a holistic,
multifaceted strategy to improve community health and nutrition. The
Farm Fresh Coupon Program seeks to partner with existing efforts to
increase the health of individuals in underserved Boston communities
and the viability of local farmers’ markets. We will do this by
providing coupons for participants of programs that encourage
increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. By mutually
reinforcing the message that fresh produce is important, accessible
and affordable, we hope to have a lasting impact on participants’
shopping and eating habits.

We request your responses no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, May 20th,
2011. Please feel free to
share this RFP with your peers and colleagues. If you have any
questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Again, the full RFP
can be downloaded in PDF format via our website at
http://thefoodproject.org/blog/2011/4/28/farm-fresh-coupon-rfp .

Best regards,
Max Gitlen
The Food Project
10 Lewis St.
Lincoln, MA  01773
Phone:  781-259-8621 x31
Fax:  781-259-9659