Youth kick off our growing season

April 17, 2014

Installing rain barrels at Ellington Street Garden

Our youth-led food justice campaign, Grow or Die, is heating up again this spring to build more gardens, renovate existing ones and distribute thousands of seedlings.

On Saturday, Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project (REEP) members and residents gathered at our first lot takeover in 2011, the Ellington Street Neighborhood Garden. We spent the day clearing brush, expanding the garden to accommodate four new families, and installing rain barrels and composting bins.

On April 22 and May 10, REEP members and resident gardeners will renovate two more gardens, adding fresh soil, double-high beds for seniors, and rainwater collection and compost systems. On April 24, we will build a new guerilla garden in Dorchester. We need volunteers! Please contact Olmis at (617) 442-3343 x234 if you can help on any of these days.

Ellington Street garden renovations

Special thanks to our Rain Team, a dedicated group of student volunteers who are helping to design and construct our systems for collecting rainwater and composting garden and food scraps!

With support from The Food Project, REEP youth have now planted about 4,000 seedlings to distribute to gardeners for planting this spring. Seedlings include collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, cayenne peppers, eggplant, zucchini, squash, cilantro, parsley, basil, tomatoes and more. Pick up more seedlings at Jammin’ for Justice in May!

REEP Youth Organizers have also been speaking on food justice at local conferences. Thank you to Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN), Toxics Action Center (TAC) and the Urban Farming Conference for the opportunity to share our stories and campaign strategies!