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November 10, 2022
7:00pm-8:30pm
Online

Register for this event here

Farming and gardening in small spaces, using municipal property or shared property, and managing nutrient-poor soils can make growing nutrient-rich food challenging. In this online event, we will discuss ways to increase soil fertility in small garden spaces and examine the role of youth development in working towards healthy soil and food justice.

This workshop is for anyone who would like to grow food crops in small spaces or work with youth in agriculture or community gardens.

Join our discussion around:

  • Creating soil fertility in small spaces and urban sites.
  • Incorporating cover crops and working with compromised soils.
  • Three urban growing sites that face unique soil fertility challenges in compact spaces.

This panel discussion is a follow up to several on-farm demonstrations that were conducted on urban garden sites in Massachusetts earlier this year: Thornton Street Farm in Boston, Abundance Farm in Northampton and Tapley Garden in Springfield. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the presenters and share their own experiences working with youth and leadership development.

Registration Fee: NOFA members: $16, Non-members: $20
Full Scholarships available: Apply here

Agenda:

7:00-7:05pm: Welcome

7:05-8:05pm: Panel presentation

8:05-8:25pm: Q&A discussion

About Tapley Garden:

An urban farm with a basket for harvesting in the middle

Tapley Garden

Tapley Garden is located on the site of the Tapley Court Apartments in the Bay Neighborhood of Mason Square (Springfield, MA). Tapley Court Apartments is part of the overall real estate portfolio held by Home City Housing. Tapley Apartments houses 40 families and the garden was started in 2017 by a group of families. The youth work with the garden through the Youth Agricultural Scientist Program. This program is a collaboration between NOFA/Mass and Home City Housing.

About Haley House and Thornton Street Farm:

An urban garden

Haley House’s Thornton Street Farm

Haley House uses food with purpose and the power of community to break down barriers between people, empower individuals, and strengthen neighborhoods. We believe in radical solutions: solving problems at their root by challenging attitudes that perpetuate suffering and building alternative models.

Haley House’s Thornton Street Farm is a community farming project at 95R Thornton Street in Roxbury, MA, on a city-owned parcel of land licensed to Haley House and Hawthorne Youth and Community Center (HYCC) in partnership. 2022 was the 9th season farming the land and it currently has ½ acre of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, mixed fruit trees and berries in production dedicated to neighborhood use. Produce grown on site is utilized in local school kitchens, distributed to 50 seniors living in Highland Park, to neighborhood groups and partners and in Haley House’s Soup Kitchen & Take Back the Kitchen classes. They welcome hundreds of local school children, employ teen farmers, partner with local youth and family organizations and host healing and trauma groups throughout the season.

About Revival Road Farm:

Two people hugging in a field

Siedric White & Anna Pierce-Slive

After a decade of working on educational farms, in food systems and hospitality, Siedric White & Anna Pierce-Slive are starting Revival Road Farm. In 2023, they are leasing 10 acres of farmland in Belchertown MA. Regenerative agriculture principles guide all of their practices and they work to leave the land better than they found it, increasing organic matter, reducing or eliminating all chemical traces on site and always farming with the next 7 generations in mind.  Siedric and Anna plan to steward a bio-intensive market garden with specialty food crops, herbs and flowers. They will also keep bees, sell honey and potentially add in some small livestock over the years.

About Abundance Farm:

rows in a garden, two covered with remay

Abundance Farm, Northampton, MA

Abundance Farm is a one-acre Jewish farm located in Northampton, MA, working to build a more resilient community through the integration of educational experiences, justice work, and regenerative agriculture. Abundance Farm was founded in 2013 and is a project of a synagogue, a school, and a town food pantry: Congregation B’nai Israel, Lander Grinspoon Academy and the Northampton Survival Center, respectively.

Informed by many ancient Jewish agriculture practices, Abundance Farm uses a raised-bed no-till system, integrating cover crops, mulch, intercropping, and other practices that work to sequester carbon back into the soil. In addition, they run a twice-weekly Pick-Your-Own program where people are invited to come to the fields and harvest food as they choose. After initial field conversion, they never use machinery, and the farm is truly community-powered, supported by young people and community members of all ages, notably the Shefa Teen program

About the Presenters:

Siedric White (he/him) brings over 20 years of experience in farming and hospitality. Siedric was in one of the first graduating classes of the renowned Urban Farming Institute and now sits on their board. Siedric successfully established a few urban farm sites that now are thriving throughout the city. He has worked in dozens of Boston-based fine-dining establishments including The Pearl, Via Matta, and Icarus, and has worked in catering, including as the founding chef at Fresh Food Generation. Siedric brings extensive culinary knowledge to farming and farm-marketing endeavors. 

Anna Pierce-Slive (she/her) was deeply changed by working the earth almost a decade ago and hasn’t stopped since. She has gotten her hands dirty at Esalen Institute’s Farm & Garden, at the University of California at Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and is currently the Farm Manager for Haley House at the Thornton Street Farm in Roxbury. Anna loves growing colorful, beautiful, nutrient-dense food for the people while building the world’s most precious resource – soil. Her work blends a passion for plants with the urgency for social healing and forging resilient relationships between people and the land.

Rose Cherneff (all pronouns) serves as the Farm Manager for Abundance Farm. Rose started out in the farming world as a teenager working at The Food Project in Boston, MA. Since then, Rose has worked for a variety of educational and production farms throughout the Northeast doing everything from horse-powered cultivation to native perennial nursery work. Rose is interested in the ways in which farming and land-based relationships can help bring people together, and how connecting with each other can help us connect to the land.

Sister Anna Gilbert-Muhammad (she/her) currently serves as the Equity Co-Director and Food Access Director for NOFA/Mass. Anna graduated from NOFA/Mass’s Beginner Farmer Program in 2015 and began working with the organization in 2016. The programs that Anna works with in Springfield are the Youth Agricultural Scientist Program at Home City Housing, The Open Pantry Community Garden Project, and smaller projects in the Boston and Springfield Area. Sis. Anna and her husband Keith Muhammad live in Springfield, MA and they are market gardeners in the Mason Area of Springfield.

Ruben Parrilla (he/him) is the Soil Technical Coordinator for NOFA/Mass where he is responsible for implementing and performing field sampling protocols. He has 15 years of experience in the Environmental Laboratory Industry and is currently pursuing microscopy certification through Dr. Elaine’s™ Soil Food Web School. He also works as a field crew member for a farm that practices organic and minimal till techniques. Ruben believes in the guiding principles of land stewardship and that we all share this responsibility. When he is not actively working the land, Ruben enjoys gathering forest medicine, fermentation and home gardening to name a few. Finalmente, Rubén es bilingüe y quiere saber de usted.

Refund Policy:

No refunds will be provided for this event. A recording of the event will be provided to registered participants after the event to view at your convenience.

Register Online Now

https://www.nofamass.store/event-details/soil-health-and-youth-development-in-urban-growing-spaces

Questions?

Contact Sister Dora Miller at dora@nofamass.org

Sponsors

This event is supported by an Agricultural Soil Health grant from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) in partnership with American Farmland Trust.

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