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I thought you would be interested in this article from environment: YALE magazine, the Journal of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
By Elizabeth Royte
On an eye-wateringly bright February afternoon, when new-fallen snow blankets raised vegetable beds and perennial borders eight inches deep, a New England gardener’s thoughts turn to seed catalogs and spring. What kind of cucumber will it be this year, the Suyo Long or the Tasty Jade? Borage would be beautiful, but will it bolt?
Such speculations are, for anyone whose yard is frozen solid, an exercise in fantasy, but they’re even more fanciful in New Haven’s downtrodden Hill neighborhood, where heavy metals contaminate the earth, sprung mattresses and bald tires punctuate vacant lots and some teenagers have tasted only half a dozen different fresh vegetables in their lives. But it’s exactly here, in those forlorn lots, where Justin Freiberg, farmer-in-chief of the Urban Foodshed Collaborative and a second-year student at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, wants to plant. Or, to be more exact, to train a cadre of inner-city youth to plant, tend and then sell their homegrown bounty to local restaurants.
The Foodshed got under way last summer. “We spent days pulling out chest-high mugwort here,” Freiberg reports, kicking into the snow of a chain-link-circled lot on Stevens Street with the toe of his hiking boot. After clearing the weeds and bringing in decent soil, in went the seeds of basil, mizuna and tomatillos. Freiberg bends to pluck some dried brown pods from a brittle stem; inside…
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