Groundwork Somerville in the Boston Globe!

Fertile ground for urban gardeners

July 27, 2010

WE APPLAUD you for highlighting the productive use of abandoned lots as community gardens in the article “Flowers now bloom where trash piles lay’’ (Globe North, July 22). Some may doubt the potential of urban gardens as reliable food because of Massachusetts’ short growing season. But the benefits of urban gardens last beyond what you get out of the ground.

In Greater Boston, nonprofits including the Food Project, Groundwork Somerville, and ReVision Urban Farm are showing great success in educating youth on agriculture and engaging community members to grow and sell produce in farmers’ markets. Dismissing these as after-school projects would be a grave mistake. Entrepreneurs, such as the founders of Top Sprouts, already see potential in profiting from urban gardening through helping building owners develop sustainable rooftop greenhouse systems. Benefits for gardeners include access to fresh produce year round, and an avenue to channel heat loss from their buildings.

We hope local authorities will show more support for urban renewal projects that turn bare and abandoned spaces in Massachusetts green.

The message is clear: Urban gardening is not just child’s play — it is here to stay.

Danielle Nierenberg
Alexandra Tung
Worldwatch Institute, Washington

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