The 2012 season was a record-breaking success for the Bowdoin Geneva Farmers Market. Sales at the market tripled from around $5,000 in 2011 to almost $16,000. Likewise, on average 170 individuals visited the market each week, up from 120 last year. The market’s growth this year, alongside the successes in our other programs (including our Farm to Family subsidized farm share and our small-scale Farm to Store initiative) have led to an overall increase in the value of fresh, locally-produced food distributed in the Bowdoin Geneva neighborhood from $20,225 in 2011 to $34,195 in 2012, representing an increase of almost 70%. Read the complete end-of-season report here.
Thank you to everyone who came out and shopped this season, and especially to our amazing vendors: City Harvest – Trustees of Reservations, Heavens Harvest Organic Farm, and Cape Cod Fish Share. We couldn’t have done it without your help!
Please join us as we plan for next season and work together to bring affordable, healthy food to Bowdoin Geneva. The Food in the ‘Hood Committee meets the second Wednesday of each month from 6-7:30pm at the Bowdoin Street Health Center. Our first meeting of the off-season will be held on November 14th. Hope to see you there!
In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy these wonderful photos of an incredible season at the farmers market. We look forward to seeing you again in June 2013!
This summer’s edition of Edible Boston features a great story about food access initiatives across Boston by journalist Steve Holt (@TheBostonWriter). The piece paints a picture of the different strategies being put to work to improve the food landscape across the city including many of the initiatives underway right here in Bowdoin Geneva. Truly good food for thought.
Click here to read the Summer 2012 Edible Boston article
Bowdoin Street Health Center and The Food Project are partnering up yet again to offer health center staff as well as their counterparts at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and other Longwood Medical Area facilities the chance to help sponsor the Farm to Family program.
The sponsorship program, now entering its third year, has been extremely successful. In 2011, staff from the Longwood community purchased 82 shares which helped to distribute over $13,000 in weekly boxes of farm-fresh produce to families in the Bowdoin/Geneva community. Continue reading
Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting with Jim Ward and Peg Ventresco of Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon, MA. Ward’s has been a long and committed partner of healthy food access in the Bowdoin Geneva neighborhood and they’re gearing up for another great year.
The greenhouse tables are covered with trays of seedlings, touting the coming of spring – meanwhile the fields were covered in a light dusting of snow thanks to last week’s gentle showers. There’s an undertone of unbridled excitement in Jim’s voice, like most of the farmers’ I’ve been talking to these last few weeks, that the off-season is about to end and the adrenaline rush that powers farmers through their incredible work is about to take hold. March is certainly an invigorating time.
Ward’s will be partnering with us again this season to provide the sponsor shares for our Farm to Family program, allowing us to distribute low-cost farmshares in Bowdoin Geneva. Each Wednesday throughout the season, they will be dropping of bountiful boxes packed full of farm-fresh produce for staff at the health center and at various hospitals in the Longwood Medical Area. While in Longwood, Ward’s sets up each week to sell additional produce at an on-site farmstand in the Kirkland parking lot of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (330 Brookline Ave.).
They will also be joining us as a guest vendor at the opening day of Bowdoin Geneva Farmers’ Market for our Healthy Summer Kickoff Event on June 28th and at a few other markets over the course of the season. Stay tuned for more details!
Are you a Boston resident age 15-17? Have we got a job for you! The Senior Healthy Champions are interns at the Bowdoin Street Health Center and have the opportunity to develop leadership, public speaking, business, and community organizing skills, while learning about public health issues in their neighborhood. Their work will focus on our very own healthy food access efforts and they will play an integral role in making heathy food available and affordable for the residents of Bowdoin-Geneva.
Youth in the Senior Healthy Champions Program will work up to 25 hours per week in July and August 2012. Work will take place mainly on weekdays (Mon-Fri), and will include at least one evening per week as well as occasional Saturday events. The rate of pay is $8.00 per hour.
The application is a three-step process:
- Applicants must register for the HOPELINE through the Boston Youth Fund using their online application. Application assistance is available every Monday and Wednesday from 3-5pm at the Bowdoin Street Health Center. Contact Susan Young at 617-754-0023. The HOPELINE closes on March 2nd, so get your application in early.
- Complete the Senior Healthy Champions Summer 2012 Application and return it by Friday, March 30th. Contact Maura Beaufait at 617-754-0026 with any questions.
- If you are selected from the pool of eligible applicants, you will have a short interview with two current Senior Healthy Champions. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the job and for us to learn about you.
We look forward to receiving your application!
The Bowdoin Geneva Farmers’ Market and other food access initiatives are featured in this quarter’s “Best of Bowdoin” Newsletter. Read about all our accomplishments in 2011 and plans for 2012!