The Everett Community Growers (ECG) has made a big move this winter to the old Everett High School on Broadway, and will be growing in the front yard there this summer with a new Farm Stand put up and educational programs to assist the Everett Public Schools – according to a presentation made to the School Committee on Monday night.
The ECG has had gardens throughout the City, but previously hosted the Urban Farm on the side of the Northern Strand Bike Path. However, with construction on the path coming soon, the ECG decided to move and found a more accessible location they believe will help their organization further transform.
“We are really excited and really excited for the farm and farm stand in that space,” said Kathleen O’Brien of ECG. “It’s a very accessible space and we always wanted to grow in that space for years. It was actually our first choice when we started, but we decided to put it along the trail.”
Farm Manager Lenka McNally said they plan on dividing the space in front of the old High School into two sections. The right side will be reserved for gardening and farming, growing the Three Sisters (squash, corn and beans), an herb garden and a Butterfly Garden. It will also house the Farm Stand that will be open to the public for purchase.
The left side will be a farming and ecology educational center aligned with the Everett Public Schools and open to community groups as well. ECG has already been working with GreenRoots in Chelsea, specifically their ECOYouth Team, to develop a curriculum for the Education Center that would enhance instruction on science, economics, plant biology, food justice and environmental justice.
McNally said they’ve always had space constraints at their farm and gardens since forming about five years ago, but now find themselves with space to do the things they’ve always wanted – especially reaching out to children in an urban setting.
“We see this as a good opportunity for our community and for our children and to learn about agriculture,” said McNally. “The main thing for us is access to the outside in urban areas and that can’t be replace by anything else in Everett.”
The ECG also hopes to host field trips to the farm by local schools, many of whom can simply walk there and not have to employ transportation.
ECG has also formulated long term goals that include having a garden at every school and making it part of the curriculum and school community. They hope to be able to supply the cafeterias with food from the Urban Farm and the school gardens. They also would like every school to have an indoor grow room space.
Members of the School Committee were very receptive to the plan, and Supt. Priya Tahiliani said with that, there would be more exciting announcements coming.
To reach ECG, email [email protected].