Archive for the ‘Senior Healthy Champions’ Category

Announcing 2013 Special Event Schedule

Veggie CircusAs you remember from last season, special events are a highlight of the Bowdoin Geneva Farmers Market.  We’re thrilled to announce our schedule of special events for the 2013 season.  Our special events are scheduled for the Third Thursday of each month (with a few extras thrown in just for some extra fun).

We can’t wait to start another fantastic season bringing the freshest, healthiest food to our neighborhood.  See you at the market!

Where: 230 Bowdoin Street, Dorchester
Parking lot of the Bowdoin Street Health Center

When: THURSDAYS, 2:30-6:30pm
June 20th through October 31st (closed July 4th)


  • Healthy Summer Kick-Off – June 20th

    • Start your summer off right with loads of fun farmers market festivities.  Take the “Soda-Free Summer” pledge, get active, and find all sorts of information about summer opportunities for youth and adults.
  • Family Fun Day – July 18th
    • Join us as we celebrate Bowdoin Geneva’s families with special guests Vegetable Circus.  Facepainting, kids’ games, and other activities and giveaways abound!  Co-sponsored by the Family Nurturing Center/Dorchester CARES.
  • Senior Celebration – August 15th
    • Each year, we honor the seniors and grandparents of our community with a special event especially for them.  Live music, raffle prizes, and discounts for seniors are hallmarks of this great market day.
  • Celebrate the Fruits of Our Ocean – August 29th (rescheduled from original date of August 8th)
    • Come by to watch the biggest seafood throwdown in Bowdoin Geneva history in honor of the amazing local seafood available at the market.  Co-sponsored by the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance.
  • Fall Fair for Teens – September 19th
    • Join us for a market day geared towards our neighborhood’s youth complete with teen employment opportunities, social media plugs, music, health information.  Co-sponsored by Boston Youth Fund and Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter’s.
  • National Food Day – October 24th
    • Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.  For a third consecutive year, Bowdoin Geneva will be a hub for community members to pledge their support and celebrate together.  Co-sponsored by Food Day MA.
  • Halloween Harvest Festival – October 31st
    • “Trick-or-Treat” at the market this Halloween.  Come in costume to earn prizes or make your way to our facepainting booth for a touch up!  Vegetable Circus is back as we celebrate the end to a fantastic market season.

We’re still seeking volunteers, guest vendors, co-sponsors, and entertainers for many of these days, so if you’re interested in taking part, please call our market manager, Maura Beaufait at 617-754-0026.

Boston Shines on Healthy Corner Store Grand Opening!

DeiseOn Saturday, April 27th, America’s Food Basket on Bowdoin Street unveiled its healthy offerings to the public!  That day was also the annual citywide clean-up, Boston Shines, and the street was full of volunteers helping out to clean up the neighborhood.  The BSHC Healthy Champions and V.I.P. (Violence Intervention and Prevention) programs were planting veggies in the Norton-Stonehurst Community Garden.  The Sustainability Guild was building out their amazing site on the corner of Topliff and Bowdoin. Staff, participants, and volunteers from CollegeBound Dorchester, the Family Nurturing Center, and the Teen Center at St. Peter’s were all helping out up and down the block!

The whole time, BSHC healthy food folks along with Javier Gutierrez from the Boston Public Health Commission – Healthy on the Block Program were on the sidewalk outside America’s Food Basket.  We were giving away healthy snacks and beverages to all the Boston Shines volunteers and promoting the fact that these healthy items are now available right here in the Bowdoin Geneva neighborhood.

Healthy Snacks

Being outside with Maura and Javier giving away free healthy snacks and beverages was actually fun. There was whole lot of people coming out and helping each other making the community cleaner and better for everyone. There was a lot being supportive and seeing people realize that it’s not only inside their house that they have to clean to make beautiful but the outside too.  What is the whole point if around your area is dirty and your house inside is clean?

I enjoyed it because obviously there was a lot of people and they was fun to be around and also there was loud music that kept our feet moving which was fun because we was actually dancing in the street. ( I’m still wondering if there was some people watching us, but hey that’s what we do if were having fun).

Working with American Food Basket was really nice and they were really helpful they gave away some juices and water for the volunteers because they deserve it after all they did to help out.  America’s Food Basket has been really working on getting more healthy stuff in the store so it was good to make sure that people know about it.  There are still more products we want them to add, but they’re getting there!

There was whole lot of random people coming up to us asking us if were selling food or donating food, and they were excited when we told them it was there for them to have for FREE.  Maura was having long conversations with all of them about the Bowdoin Geneva Farmers Market that’s opening on June 20th as well as two Healthy Corner Store Tour that we’re leading in May. After the tour, everyone will be receiving a free $5 gift certificate to spend at the store and you get a free workbook full of tasty recipes and simple tips on buying healthy, low-cost foods and last but not least a free reusable shopping bag and a calculator. That’s something you should not miss if I was you because your basically missing out the fun that you will have but having that tour with Maura and also those free things you will be receiving :).

Teen Reflections on the Globe

On February 13th, I attended the Boston Globe’s community session talking about the 68 Blocks article they wrote in December about the Geneva/Olney/Bowdoin neighborhood.  We sat with residents and others in the neighborhood to talk about the streets and the way the article was written.

Out of everything we was talking about, there was some things I liked and some things I disliked:

One thing I liked about the video they showed is that there were whole lot of people I knew on it and all the little kids having fun and getting along with each other just the way they are supposed to.

A thing I disliked about the video is that the Globe was only showing how much violence is happening here.  The video showed what had happened years ago, how there was  whole lot of shooting around which was really disturbing to me because I really didn’t know anything about that.

We can make a change in our community and it’s happening too, but I didn’t see much of that. There are a lot of things going on on this street. They could have chosen some other things instead of a grown up shooting a little kid. I mean, I understand that’s one of the biggest problem we have with our community but there are good things too.

I also felt sad because they showed so many negative sides of the Cape Verdean community.  There are Cape Verdeans doing great things here too – and there are people of other races who are part of the problem.  Being Cape Verdean myself, it makes me worry that what the Globe showed about my community might make people think differently about me.

In order to make a change in our community, people have to come together with a different conversation instead of only the violence and bad education because there’s whole lot of things going on in Bowdoin-Geneva that need to be changed.  Homeless people need a place to stay and food to eat.  Sick people need others to take care of them.

Instead of putting people down about their culture, I hope we can all talk about something that’s more positive and do something to make things better.

Youth Intern Profile: Deise Mendes

Deise MendesHello, my name is Deise Mendes. I am 16 years old, I’m a sophomore at Excel High School in South Boston. During this school year, I will be working at the Bowdoin Health Center as a healthy food access intern. I’m really excited to work here because I’m looking forward to learning and trying new things. During this school year I want to be focused on my school work and preparing for a job down the road.  This internship is perfect for me because it makes me think about my own health and gives me time to balance my homework too!

At my school, I’m also the president of the Multicultural Club.  That means I’m responsible for organizing and thinking up new ideas for school events.  In January, we’re running a Black History Month event that’s focused on Cape Verdeans.  I’m proud of being the president because I get to be a leader and I feel like I am good at helping out.

I was born in Cape Verde and came here when I was 8 years old. Since I came to the US, I have lived in Dorchester. To me, Dorchester is fun – I can’t lie – and I’m looking forward to learning more about the community where I live.

I have 2 brothers, one is older than me and one is younger. During my free time I like to listen to music and watch TV. Among other things, I like to play volleyball – the only sport I’m actually good at. My favorite food is pizza, even though it’s not healthy but I like it anyway.  On the other hand, my favorite vegetable is broccoli so that’s pretty good.

When I get older, I want to be a nurse because I love helping others.  Working in a health center is a great opportunity to reach my goals and learn more about my future career.  I’m looking forward to being here this year.

& that would be it folks 🙂

Healthy Champions Promote DILLigence in Garden Education

On August 13, the Healthy Champions became the first group of youth ever to lead one of Boston Natural Areas Network’s widely recognized “Seed, Sow, & Grow” workshops, hosting more than 20 children and families at the City Natives garden site in Mattapan. The workshop showcased dill pickle making as a way to not only sustain the longevity of garden produce, but also as a way to educate participants on the evolution of vegetables from farm to plate.

To prepare for the day’s festivities, the Healthy Champions created a “10 Steps to Perfect Pickles” checklist (listed below), designing visual aids for each step of the pickle making process which corresponded with work stations set up around the garden. They monitored each station with the assistance of City Native’s staff, doing everything from washing cucumbers to aiding first-time pickle makers in the art of spice selection. Families were able to leave the workshop with their own variations of dill pickles, along with additional colorful creations of pickled veggies such as okra, carrots, peppers, and green beans. The day culminated with a group harvesting session in the teaching garden…with the majority of the harvest eventually making its way into the hands of hungry workshop hosts on the train ride back to Bowdoin Street!

Educating youth and families around the health benefits of fresh and affordable produce continues to be one of the primary focuses of the Healthy Champions program. The Healthy Champions have come up with an idea for a city-wide campaign to increase awareness about the benefits of local growing. Both Boston Natural Areas Network and The Food Project are excited to offer their collaborative assistance in this upcoming project, following the lead of the Healthy Champions as they prepare to tell the world why “Seeds Make Cents”. Stay tuned!

10 Steps to Perfect Pickles
by the 2011 Healthy Champions

What you need!
•Cucumbers (or other veggie of your choice)
•Jar with lid (like a Mason jar)
•Kosher Salt
•White Vinegar
•Hot Peppers (optional)
*There is no set amount of dill/garlic/peppers to use, so feel free to tailor the recipe to your own taste!

What to do! 
1. Wash cucumbers
2. Cut cucumbers into pickle-shaped spears
3. Put spears into jar and pack tightly
4. Sprinkle 1teaspoon of peppercorns into the jar
5. Peel garlic and add to jar. Then add fresh dill
6. For spicy pickles, add pieces of hot peppers
7. Have an adult bring equal parts white vinegar and water to a boil. Add kosher salt (5 tablespoons for ever 2 quarts of water). Stir to dissolve
8. Pour hot mixture into the jar and fill to the top
9. Leave jars uncovered so they can cool. Then cover and put in the fridge. Leave in fridge for at least 24 hours.
10. ENJOY!