In March of this year, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) awarded the Everett Community Health Partnership (ECHP) one of nine Urban Agriculture grants to explore the development of commercial urban agriculture in Everett.
With this grant funding, ECHP, through the Everett Community Growers, mapped land suitable for food growing, held various community engagement events, and developed recommendations for an urban agriculture ordinance in Everett. Residents who want to learn about the exciting results are invited to a general interest meeting Wednesday, September 24th at 6PM in front of the old Everett High School following the Everett Farmers Market.
Attendees will learn about commercial urban agriculture in the Boston area, and how it can happen here. ECHP will also be recruiting community members to join an Urban Agriculture Working Group to develop an urban agriculture policy in Everett.
There will also be a Backyard Farmers’ Contest earlier in the day, for residents to showcase their backyard and community garden produce – look for more information coming soon! Everyone, from community residents and organizations interested in urban agriculture, to City staff and Councilors are invited to attend.
“Urban agriculture is an important, developing component of the MA food system,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan, “It can revitalize blighted neighborhoods, improve public health, promote local businesses, engage youth and provide Massachusetts residents with access to fresh, nutritious food.”
While growing food is legal in Everett, there are no policies that allow growers to sell the food they grow, or to secure land to make farming feasible in the city. ECHP is working to make this happen, and is looking forward to community support, input and participation.