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Anna Waclawiczek

Anna Waclawiczek

Chief of Staff, Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR)

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CQP stamped wood You don’t have to live in the country to be a farmer – you can grow crops outside in the city too.

Launched in 2007, Build-a-Garden teaches city residents square-foot growing methods so that urban gardeners can maximize space, create ideal growing conditions, and have a simple and structured forum for learning the basics. The Food Project provides participants with everything they need to get started – including multiple raised garden beds, soil, seeds, transplants, a growing guide, on-site workshops, and assistance throughout the planning and implementation stages of the project. Through this volunteer-fueled initiative, the organization hopes to create a thoughtful and productive community of people from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system.

In this instance, two local businesses came together to support each other and the community, and the positive effects promise to be long-lasting. Heyes provided product made from a natural, renewable resource that will be used to help residents of Boston and Lynn grow a variety of wholesome, fresh produce at a fraction of the cost. Likewise, The Food Project’s patronage of Heyes helps sustain local forest-based businesses that maintain healthy, working forests to create products that are important to us in everyday life. The end result is a mutually beneficial collaboration involving local products that will have a positive impact on local business, our community and the environment.

Fred Heyes, owner of Heyes Forest Products in Orange and DAR  Commonwealth Quality Program (CQP) ambassador, recently teamed up with Boston-based The Food Project to demonstrate how local wood products can be used to help build a stronger community.

In what has become an annual tradition, Heyes supplied  CQP-certified Massachusetts white pine lumber for The Food Project’s “Build-a-Garden” program, which provides Boston-area residents the opportunity to grow their own food successfully and safely in urban neighborhoods through raised bed and container gardening. The locally sourced and manufactured lumber will be used to construct garden beds for the community support program.

Heyes BAnsfield Botelho

The Food Project is currently accepting Build-a-Garden volunteer applications for the fall 2011 growing season. To learn more about this and other Food Project volunteer opportunities, please visit: http://thefoodproject.org/volunteer

Those interested in applying for Build-a-Garden support can contact the program coordinator, Kathleen Banfield, by calling (617) 442-1322 x12 or by sending an email to buildagarden@thefoodproject.org.

To learn more about DAR’s Commonwealth Quality Program, which promotes high-quality Massachusetts agricultural products that are responsibly produced, harvested and processed, or to locate a CQP business near you, please visit  http://www.mass.gov/cqp

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