We Didn’t Go Anywhere!

With the construction going on at 294 Sumner, it’s understandable that a lot of the neighborhood has questions about our status. I live right across the street and frequently go over to check on the progress that Restoring Roots is making or to just do a little tidying of the space. While there, I get asked the same question by passersby, “What is this going to be?”. I reassure them that it’s still run by Eastie Farm and that we’re renovating to make the space more inviting for the community. The relief is palpable, and usually followed closely by “That’s fantastic! I thought they were putting up more condos.” Since someone can’t always be outside to set the record straight, myself and a volunteer group from Suffolk University created some temporary signage for the renovation period.

Our Tuesday volunteer group from Suffolk University shows off the new signage that they finger-painted.

While wholesale changes are happening at 294 Sumner, at Our Garden at 293 Border we’re undertaking some much needed projects that will boost community involvement and make the farm more self-sufficient. One such project is the expansion of our compost collection from Earth Machines and tumblers to a larger scale bay system that will allow for community composting in the future.

The three new bays are made entirely of recycled wood we either had lying around or pallets we received for free. The mesh lining is known as hardware cloth and is used as a pest deterrent.
5th graders from the Umana shovel the composted food scraps Jackie spent months cultivating on the broken sticks and leaves they gathered for our first layer of compost in this bin.

Thanks to our connection with the FoodCorps Service Member at the Mario Umana Academy, Meghan Hoyne Wingate, we’ve been able to organize multiple activities with her classes. We’ve done three lessons on composting with hopes to build something similar at the school as well as some worm bin composting!

Earlier that week, one of her classes came over to help plant some milkweed on the hill leading to Meridian Street. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed and milkweed only. In an effort to help our pollinators (who in turn help us!), Meghan had her class ready the seeds for their overwintering.

Jackie and the schoolchildren get their hands and shovels dirty digging holes for the sowing of milkweed seeds.

Hopefully by May or June the hillside will be covered in milkweed and Monarchs!

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