Grow Local: Community Plots in Boston

Nightingale Garden in Dorchester opened in August, and is Boston’s
largest community garden.
Photo courtesy/BNAN

As a localvore, it’s important to note that the most locally sourced foods are the ones consumers grow themselves. Of course, in a metropolitan city, it’s not as simple as clearing a plot in the backyard. And while indoor plants are relatively successful (I’m a firm advocate of the indoor herb garden), Boston has a vast market of outdoor gardening plots and community gardens.

Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN) has a useful resource on their website that helps consumers and potential urban farmers locate a community garden, and then provides them the contact information for that garden’s coordinator or community ambassador.
The BNAN site also provides tips for growing, as well as various other ways to explore and enjoy Boston’s Greenways and The Emerald Necklace (There’s even yoga!).
The cost of the gardening plots typically covers users’ water use and averages 25 dollars a season, according to Vidya Tikku, BNAN’s vice president of development and special projects. She also mentioned that almost all of the community plots use organic farming methods, or ban the use of pesticides.

“Community gardens are the easiest way to access fresh locally grown food and they help promote a healthy and active lifestyle,” said Tikku in an email. “In many cases, they are vital to supporting family food budgets. They also help build civic engagement amongst residents of all income levels and backgrounds and help build stronger communities.”

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Hi, I'm Marian.
By day, I'm a PR maven with a nerdy affinity for research and branding. By night, I'm an explorer; I delve into books, food, design, and the murky waters of my own psyche, then share my musings here.





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