Homeless Bostonians grow their own
The Farm at Long Island Shelter
An organic farm? In Boston Harbor? Whose crops won’t make you grow a third arm? Yes, it’s true: “THE FARM” at Long Island Shelter is a certifiable organic vegetable, flower, and herb farm located on Long Island in Boston Harbor.
However, this isn’t your typical bucolic scene. It’s a training ground — and a source of nutrition — for many of Boston’s disadvantaged. Each year, the Farm produces nearly 30,000 pounds of high-quality produce for more than 850 homeless Bostonians. The food is doled out in soup kitchens and shelters throughout the city.
The Farm is also home to the Serving Ourselves program, which provides some of Boston’s underprivileged with hands-on job training, life skills, and education, from food prep and soil preparation to harvesting and pest-control. The food is then sold at farmers’ markets throughout the area, and a portion of the proceeds go to sustaining the program. A specialized culinary program teaches skills such as pickling, drying, and cooking with fresh herbs — tricks previously restricted to foodies and those with disposable incomes.
Graduates of the program have gone on to successful careers; one owns a landscaping business, another is a florist. The Farm also encourages school and corporate groups to dig in and volunteer — call 617.534.2526 for details.
: Lifestyle Features
, Culture and Lifestyle, Food and Cooking, Foods, More