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Are you looking for respite from your busy city life or interested in local food and want to grow your own urban garden? In Boston there are a number of urban farming green spaces that are accessible to the public where you can find escape from the bustle of the city. Whether you are taking a stroll through the gardens, embracing your inner farmer at education workshops, securing your own community garden plot, or volunteering here are our 10 favorite urban farming green spaces across Boston to do so.
1. Kendall Center/Cambridge Center Roof Garden
This hideaway garden in the heart of Kendall Square, situated on top of the East Parking Garage, is adorned with pathways, picnic tables and benches nestled among the garden landscape. The space offers a secluded retreat to read your favorite book or observe Boston city views. On alternate Wednesdays from noon-1pm you can join public education sessions led by Green City Growers’, Director of Education, Leilani Mroczowski. The education programming includes learning important skills for growing your own urban garden while also helping to plant, maintain and harvest the garden at Kendall Center. Although, the education program has concluded for the fall stay posted for spring programming that will be starting back up in late March. The garden can sometimes be tricky to find, so your best bet is to go to the parking garage at 4 Cambridge Center and follow signs up to the garden.
2. South Park
Missed the programming at Kendall Center this week? Don’t worry, just down the street from the Kendall Center roof top garden is a ground level garden at 125 Broadway and when the education program isn’t being held at Kendall Center, the program happens here! Akin to Kendall Center, the education sessions have concluded for the fall but they will begin again in late March, early April. Stayed tuned.
3. Berkeley Community Garden
This garden consists of a community of 140 gardeners located in Boston’s south end at 62 Summer Street. It is one of few community gardens that is open to the public! So take some time to stroll through the space and if you feel inspired to join this garden community you can visit their website to enter their lottery system to win a vacant plot. The gardens are open to the public during daylight hours until November with a reopening in April.
4. Dedham Parks and Recreation: Dedham Grows Garden Program
This fall, the Dedham Grows Garden Program partnered with Green City Grower’s to offer a 8 week urban farming course focused on hands on learning activities shaped to highlight important skills and techniques for gardening in the city. Every Saturday from August 29 to October 31 members from the community came together to participate in an urban farming course led by Green City Growers’ urban farmer John Neri. While the course has concluded for the fall keep an eye out for Dedham Parks and Recs’ future garden programming here.
Every Saturday from 9am-noon during the growing season the growing center is open free to the public. Other events include concerts, seasonal festivals and educational programs. The growing center is located at 22 Vinal Ave in Union Square.
6. Fenway Victory Gardens
The Fenway Victory Gardens, a part of the “Fens”, is the oldest community garden in Boston. In 1942, the gardens were established as part of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and is the only remaining World War II Victory Garden in the United States. At these gardens you’ll find a number of community gardens maintained by Boston residents. If you are interested in starting your own garden, any resident of Boston is entitled to a garden at the Fens under the conditions that a plot is available and you are able to properly maintain the space. You can apply here. Not quite interested or don’t have the time to maintain your own garden? You can still participate in the various events at the community garden throughout the growing season.
7. Assembly Row
Next time you are at the Assembly outdoor shopping center take a peek at the gardens where on-site restaurants’ River Bar and Papagayo source some of their ingredients like mint, scallions and other herbs. Located at 301 Canal Street in Somerville you can see a range of vegetables growing in the raised bed gardens and you might even catch Green City Growers’ urban farmer, Marie, during her weekly maintenance visit! There is also a monthly urban farming workshop through the Assembly gRows program, led by Marie.
8. The Street at Chestnut Hill
As of this October a garden went in at The Street shopping center. At this location in the late fall you will see a raised bed garden covered with cold frame season extension. The cold frames act as mini greenhouses for the raised beds, allowing the gardens to produce longer into the cold fall months. Since The Street is in it’s beginning stages as an urban farm, no public programming currently exists, but check back in late March for spring programming.
9. City Growers
Volunteer with City Growers, wake up your inner farmer and revitalize Boston! City Growers partners with the community to secure unused or abandoned land in the city and transform it into spaces to grow food. Explore their farm sites to see if there is one in your neighborhood where you can volunteer!
A community-based urban agriculture project, ReVision Urban Farm provides access to affordable and nutritious food to residents of the ReVision Family Home and its extended community. Get involved and help with food security in Boston by volunteering with ReVision!