Describe your project.
We live in the Jackson Square section of Jamaica Plain, and this year we are turning the empty lot next to our home into a giant garden and small-scale CSA called Raíces con Alas, or Roots with Wings. We want to host 6 monthly gardening workshops, teaching basic backyard gardening, composting and food preservation skills to our neighbors.
Our neighbors are mostly Latino, Spanish-speaking families, many of whom have deep cultural appreciation for food, plants, and community. They are also very interested in gardening; when we are outside working on the garden, folks stop, compliment, and ask questions about how they can make their tomato plants grow this year. Because we have the incredible opportunity to use this garden lot, we want to bring our community together around food, and open up the garden as a communal learning and celebrating space. The workshops will be 1.5 hours long, be held in English and translated to Spanish when/if needed, and a small cooking (and eating!) demonstration will happen at the end, using fresh garden produce.
How will you use the grant to make your idea happen?
The grant would be used to cover three main costs: the cultivation and maintenance of the garden, the cultivation of seedlings, one of which will be given to each attendee of each workshop to practice their skills at home, and to fund a small meal at the end of each workshop. We would also use a bit of it for marketing the workshops.
Why and to whom is your project important?
In JP, there are lengthy waiting lists at all community garden spaces and CSA shares are often too expensive to be accessible. However, many of our neighbors have green spaces outside their homes; our workshops would provide a forum for skill learning and sharing so that they can turn these spaces into small gardens. The workshops would also improve interconnectedness on our block and in our neighborhood.
If you win, what is the expected status of your project by the time the next Feast Mass rolls around in 3–4 months?
We plan to host 6 gardening workshops, beginning in April and ending in September. By the next Feast Mass, we will have held at least 2 workshops and be able to report on their success.