An edible green space near you

No matter where in East Boston you live, our goal is to offer you a space where you can join neighbors to grow food with, pickup produce boxes at, and learn how to take care of our community and the natural world. To that end, we currently have the following sites:

  1. 294 Sumner Street
  2. 6 Chelsea Terrace
  3. Our Garden (293 Border Street)
  4. Adams Elementary School
  5. Donald McKay K-8 School
  6. Manassah E. Bradley Elementary School
  7. Dante Alighieri Montessori School

As for our school sites, they help students get their hands dirty, and learn experientially. There also get to appreciate the fruits of their labor . We find that kids are more ready to try vegetables and herbs that they themselves grew. We have learned from the faculty that the green spaces we foster by reviving their gardens are also serving as de-stressing spaces for them.

294 Sumner St

This is the original Eastie Farm site.  In 2015, neighbors got together after an abandoned lot was misused and became a place for litter.  Today it’s a combination of growing, event, entertainment, education and food distribution space.

From left to right: Cecilia, Josue, and Adriana repackage fresh produce from one of our local donors for free pickup by community members. These three were the core distribution team for the bulk of the pandemic. Adriana has since returned to work in the service industry and Cecilia and Josue have left East Boston due to displacement. The brick patio is a direct result of community input during our renovation process. People wanted a place to gather and it became that and a great, clean area to pack produce! 

A young family next to the farm gets seedlings from Eastie Farm.

6 Chelsea Terrace

This is the second site we’ve acquired through the Department of Neighborhood Development. We started here in 2018 using the same grow bags we used to get Sumner Street up and running. After a few seasons of taming the weeds and growing, we received the initial grant to build the greenhouse and we’re still working on completing it. You can find out about the project and see our progress here.

Sam, Andrew, Becca and Emily weeding the beds so our lettuce, eggplant and peppers could grow. This was in 2020, the last year it would remain a completely outdoor garden.

The greenhouse, before and after the panes were added. We designed the site to keep the mature mulberry trees – they were there before us!

Our Garden (293 Border St)

Our Garden came under our management in 2017, with Jackie becoming the first of our site managers in 2018 when she came on as a volunteer.  The site has undergone a DND grant renovation, offering new raised beds and a small greenhouse on site as well as some artwork. The Mario Umana Academy sits directly across the street and we regularly have groups of students over for lessons on planting, harvesting, rainwater catchment.  We visit the school when we can, having partnered with local composting companies to teach kids about worm composting and giving them their own worm bin.

Lisa and her partner, Jackie and Juana (co-managers of the site), and Becca and her partner on a harvest party day at OG. Lisa was inspecting cabbage leaves to use in a dye-making project as part of our larger FutureFood project with artists, Keith Hartwig and Matthew Battles. Jackie oversaw the rehabbing of Our Garden from mounds of soil to these 12 raised beds that grow a ton of produce every season. The tree looking plants on the far left and just behind Jackie are sunflowers that she saved the seeds from the previous year at a coffee shop in Philadelphia.

Sam Adams Elementary School (165 Webster)

We’ve managed Adams Elementary since 2017. This is directly connected to the recess yard of the school so there are kids constantly in and out of the garden. The site manager, Roberto (with the yellow hat in the picture below) has done a great job involving families by having his harvest events directly after school so they can pop in after pickup.

Sam Adams students exploring the garden – intrigued by the smallest of things and sharing with classmates
Youth volunteers cleaning and setting up the space in Summer for the kids returning in the Fall

Donald McKay School (122 Cottage St)

We’ve been at the McKay School since 2018, having started our NATURE program with Piers Park Sailing Center and Harborkeepers here.  NATURE stands for Nature As Teacher, Urban Resilience Education. We still run the program with PPSC today. We’re in the McKay School every Friday and as soon as the weather breaks, we’ll be taking the plans we guide the kids through and using them to plant the garden. Having outdoor space to grow in is a real boon for kids since they can take lessons and apply them immediately after walking out for recess.

Creating raised bed for the students to grow food in, learn from, and to sample 🙂

Manassah E. Bradley School (110 Beachview Rd)

We began managing the Bradley School’s garden in 2021.  It’s really a nascent garden with limited growing space.  We try to use what we have and get creative by finding new areas of the yard to grow in. At the end of last season, we received a grant to add to the number of raised beds so next year will be much fuller.

Garlic planting, Fall 2021

Dante Alighieri Montessori School (37 Gove St)

We partnered with the Alighieri School for several years, assisting parents who ran the garden for a few seasons and donating tools and a shed.  After the success of our Junior Farmers program in summer of 2021, we were asked to formally manage the space.

Building brand new beds with the children (2022)