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Warming Up to Local Food By Sarah Wells

Winters in Massachusetts can be harsh and unforgiving to the residents who call the state home, as well as the land it sits upon. Bitter temperatures freeze the rocky soil, making farming almost impossible and making access to fresh produce challenging. But thanks to farming innovations and progressive policies, residents of Boston can find relief through winter farmers markets throughout the city. In some cases, these markets move around daily as pop-ups or food trucks and can be challenging to reach depending on your work schedule. Recently however, two farm stalls have found permanent homes in the Boston Public Market. These vendors and their farms take advantage of greenhouse, hydroponic, and freight farming practices to ensure they can dependably bring fresh produce to their communities daily.

The non-profit, FoodCaresBOSTON, aims to provide fresh, healthy food to disadvantaged families in the Boston area. Through their program, donated fresh food is distributed to families weekly. After opening in 2016, the program has already distributed 154,380 pounds of fresh food. At the market, they’re publicizing another part of their program, called The GoodBOX. Like a food subscription service you might have sent to your house, customers can pay to have a GoodBOX delivered to their homes. For every box bought, a box is donated to a family in need. Thanks to storage techniques and greenhouses, this locally sourced produce – root vegetables for winter – thrive.

“This is a systemic issue not just a localized issue. It starts with policy, it starts with pricing, it starts with sourcing more local as opposed to cross-country supply chains. There’s layers of issues” – Raheem Baraka, FoodCaresBOSTON
"We grow lettuce 365 days a year" – Michael Brown, Corner Stalk Farm

Around the corner from FoodCaresBOSTON, Corner Stalk Farms are also taking steps toward sustainable and local food production: hydroponic and freight farming. Using recycled shipping containers as their farm land, this group can grow heirloom lettuce and herbs 365 days a year. And located only ten minutes away from Boston Public Market’s downtown location, the farm can boast an extremely small carbon footprint to transport their produce. According to employee Michael Brown, this kind of sustainable farming is ready to answer the question of food security, its just a matter of getting the information to the right people.

"You’ve got to hit local neighborhoods with that information, especially neighborhoods who aren’t accustomed to using a farmer’s market" – Michael Brown, Corner Stalk Farm
Created By
Sarah Wells
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