The Serving Ourselves Farm at Boston’s Long Island Shelter
Due to the abrupt closing of Boston’s Long Island Bridge last fall, The Farm will be operating a limited production this season while it works to protect its assets (organic soil, greenhouses, farm tools and equipment) and seek out a new location in the Greater Boston area for the 2016 season. Unfortunately, due to these circumstances, The Farm will not be able to work with volunteers this season, but we hope you’ll join us again next year in support of the beautiful, unique program.
The Serving Ourselves (SOS) Farm at Boston’s Long Island Shelter is a 2.5 acre Certified Organic farm that helps feed the bodies, minds, and spirits of some of Boston’s most vulnerable residents.
Each year, The Farm produces about 25,000 pounds of beautiful, first harvest produce (veggies, herbs, fruits, and berries), as well as fresh eggs from the laying hens, for over 800 people served every day by the Long Island Shelter’s kitchen.
The Farm also shares its bounty with the Greater Boston community by offering healthy, affordable options through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares and Farmers Markets, particularly in neighborhoods where access to healthy foods may be limited, and accepts SNAP, WIC, and senior coupons.
Besides delicious and nutritious produce, The Farm provides paid work experience, job-readiness skills, and education for homeless individuals as part of the Serving Ourselves Vocational Training Program. Participants learn all aspects of food production; soil preparation, a variety of planting techniques, tending the plants, pest control, harvesting and marketing their produce at local farmers markets.
The Farm also gives those in the Culinary Arts track of Serving Ourselves the opportunity to work with a wide variety of produce, and learn skills that would otherwise not be possible due to prohibitive cost, like pickling, drying, and cooking with fresh herbs.
The experience gained in these programs has led to permanent, gainful employment in the restaurant, food, horticulture and landscaping industries. For example, one employee started a landscaping business, one went to work with a well-known florist in Boston and another pursued her education and employment in floriculture.
In an effort to even further serve the Boston community, The Farm provides the opportunity for court-involved youth to gain employment experience through its partnership with the City’s Youth Options Unlimited (Y.O.U) summer program. This initiative engages Boston’s most challenged youth and offers them a second chance at success.
We welcome individual and group volunteers to join us throughout the season. Land clearing, planting and harvesting while working alongside program participants is a uniquely rewarding experience. If you, your company, school,or just a group of friends would like to volunteer for a day on The Farm, please contact Mariann Bucina at (617) 942-8671 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Volunteers must be 18+.
You can also support The Farm and help feed hungry bodies, minds, and spirits through our Adoption Program!
Adopt-a-Row (of veggies): $10
Adopt-a-Laying Hen: $25
Adopt-a-Fruit Tree: $50