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Don’t Let Plastic Touch Your Food. Ever.

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plastic Don’t let plastic touch your food, really? EVER? Why? HOW?

If you caught the On Point segment “The Safety of Plastics, Beyond B.P.A.” with Tom Ashbrook this week, you heard the strong warnings from Mariah Blake, the reporter for Mother Jones on “The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics,” and the rest of Tom’s guests that hour. Mariah’s reporting reveals the devastating news that nearly ALL PLASTIC is a risk for exposure to estrogenic chemicals, not just plastics containing Bisphenol-A (BPA), causing endocrine disruption linked to cancer, asthma, diabetes, obesity, infertility, and heart disease. Mariah’s article goes on to explain recent research from CertiChem that “almost all” commercially available plastics that were tested leached synthetic estrogens—even when they weren’t exposed to conditions known to unlock potentially harmful chemicals, such as the heat of a microwave, the steam […]

3 Steps to Overwintering an Olympic-Sized Harvest

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1656056_10152036131633843_107452953_nIf Russia can turn Sochi, a summer resort village, into a Winter Olympic host city, why can’t we also flip the seasons and make a successful growing season out of our cold New England winter (without the environmental impact of refrigerating 710,000 cubic meters of snow through the summer to ensure enough for the games)?

The Farmers and Urban Agriculture Ambassadors at Green City Growers know that maintaining a garden through the winter is simple and sustainable as long as you find light, use the right tools and plant smart. Luckily we don’t have to rely on energy-intensive methods to keep our gardens alive through the winter.

1. Find light. To keep plants alive from the first winter frost through the last, put your garden in a location that allows for sun year-round. Successful overwintering means harnessing limited winter […]

Top Tips to Ready Your Garden for Spring Planting

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At Green City Growers we call readying your garden for spring planting “Spring Awakening.” Even gardens with cold frames that extend the season, New England vegetable gardens require a little TLC and replenishment to ensure a spectacular growing season ahead.

Our team of horticultural specialists have this down to a science, and will be sharing their knowledge about waking up your garden and all other urban farming topics March 21-23 at the Urban Farming Course. In the meantime, the top tips for “Spring Awakening”…

1. Create a Crop Plan
Before you order seeds or purchase plant starts, create a crop plan for your spring, summer and fall crops. Or spring at the very least! Take into account the space you’re growing in, and how much room each crop needs to grow successfully. […]

Did You Know 30% of Our Food Supply is in Jeopardy?

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Honey bees account for the necessary pollination of one third of everything we eat. One third! The increase in use of lawn chemicals, pesticides on crops and in gardens, and chemicals in the home is in large part to blame for the decimation of our bees… And there IS something we can do about it.

5 Things You Can Do To Help Honey Bees

1. Plant organic bee friendly plants and flowers.
If you’re planning an edible garden, let herbs be your bee-friendly go-to. “Chives, dill, fennel, lavender, marjoram, mint, nasturtium, rosemary, sage, and thyme are all wonderful herbs to include in your arsenal that support honey bee health and nutrition,” says Green City Growers Horticultural Director Laura Feddersen.

2. Don’t use toxic persistent chemicals in your home or gardens.
A perfect […]

From Field to Desk: The New Intern

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Hi there! My name is Paige and I’m one of GCGs two Business Development Interns for the spring. I’m a fair weather farmer, an on-again, off-again student, and a latte master at a cafe in Cambridge. My agricultural education started two and a half years ago when I was sitting in a lecture hall during my first year of college learning about apple orchards on the Nova Scotian coast. I’ve always had a vested interest in the environment, but up until that point I’d never considered farming as a career choice for myself. Fast forward to a few years later, a WWOOFing stint, and a six month intensive apprenticeship and now I can’t see myself doing anything else with my life. I’ve been following GCG for about a year now and I’m so thrilled that I’m able to work with them. I wish that […]

Intern Orientation, Led by Third Graders

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As a new Business Development Intern for Green City Growers, I learned very quickly that I have quite a bit to learn about urban agriculture. During my first day on the job, I evaluated and analyzed questionnaires filled out by third grade students from Beverly, MA after they took a semester-long urban farming education program taught by Green City Growers.

These third graders have mastered some questions that could trip up many adults:

What are some reasons to use organic farming methods? So we don’t kill the plants or hurt our bodies. It will not kill the good bug and you do not want to be eating pesteside.

What is compost? Compost is waste decaying and turn into a soil great for plants. Compost is left over food scraps eaten by worms.

What kind of soil do vegetables need to grow? Soil […]

Converting a Food Desert to a Food Oasis

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America’s urban neighborhoods may be vibrant, teeming-with-life, cornucopias of activity, but all too often they are also food deserts. What is a food desert? A food desert is a geographic area, generally in poor urban areas, where affordable & healthy food is difficult to obtain, particularly for those without access to an automobile. New local grocers across the country are responding to this issue, like The Market on Koke Hill opening in Springfield, IL, alongside well-established grocers expanding their fresh and organic produce. But according to NPR’s The Salt, “it takes more than a produce aisle to refresh a food desert.”Green City Growers has been tackling the food deserts around greater Boston for five years, “transforming unused space into thriving urban farms, providing clients with immediate access to nutritious food, while revitalizing city landscapes and inspiring self-sufficiency.” And this year, GCG’s sixth season, […]

Which is Better: Hydroponic or Organic Farming?

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A quick search on the web seems to indicate that hydroponic farming is as good as or even superior to organic soil farming. And there’s a current debate over whether to allow hydroponic tomatoes to be classified as organic. This seems simple enough: logically, if only organic nutrient solutions are supplied to the hydroponically-grown tomato plants, then why not? Let’s dig deeper…Green City Growers Horticulturist Laura Feddersen shares her expertise on the difference is between soilless hydroponics and organic soil: “The simplest characterization of organic growers is that they feed the soil, not the plant,” explains Laura. “This distinction is of great importance. The presence of life and once-living things in soil is crucial to organic methods, whereas conventional farming treats the soil like a dead matrix to feed and hold the plant in place, and hydroponic growing simply provides an easier delivery system to […]

Top 10 Heart-Healthy Vegetables and Fruits

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Today, Friday, February 7th, is the American Heart Association Go Red For Women Day. The staff at Green City Growers is 75% women, so we’re celebrating! We realize it takes more than one day of wearing red to end heart disease, the number one killer of women in America

Why do we feel it’s important to take the additional step of growing your own instead of simply adding these foods to your grocery list? Glad you asked! It’s the nutrient density of these fruits and vegetables (richness in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber in comparison to total calories) that make them heart-healthy, and growing your own will boost this density. Gardening takes effort, and is a wonderful form of exercise. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to heart disease, and gardening […]

The Final Hours of Dan the Intern… the Legend

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Blueberry_BushesSince my first day at Green City Growers, back in May, I’ve taken away a lot more than I thought I would. Being an Environmental Science major concentrating in Geology and minoring in Mathematics and Physics, I don’t study anything outside the realms of science in school. This internship not only progressed my understanding of plant and soil science, it taught me the in and outs of how a business is run. Being a business development intern, a lot of my responsibilities include marketing, client outreach and sales; again, nothing I would learn or take a class on in school. Although I am excited to go back to classes in January at Northeastern, it has been an awesome change of pace.

Apart from all of the marketing and business development tactics I learned, this internship has made me […]

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i want to eat food grown in my backyard!
i want my kid to learn how to grow vegetables!
November  2014