June 27, 2022 Find your summer’s bounty (and how to eat it) at the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm
A cornucopia of summer vegetables is growing right here in the city for your summer cooking. The Urban Farming Institute (UFI) will feature in-person and virtual public programs for food and fitness this summer, and weekly visitors to the historic Fowler Clark Epstein Farm at 467 Norfolk Street in Mattapan will discover an ever-changing stream of delectable summer produce from UFI’s own planting beds.
Mark your calendar for the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm Farm Stand every Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. beginning July 15th through to November 18th. UFI sells vegetables and herbs grown at eight farm sites they manage in Mattapan, Dorchester and Roxbury. The farm stand also hosts a variety of area organic food growers and food makers whose products are also for sale.
Farm Stand Fridays are big at the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm. Story tellers, guest chefs in the teaching kitchen, music and arts and culture guests round out a weekly celebration of fresh food.
Need ideas or inspiration for cooking with your new-found bounty? The Summer 2022 Destination Cuisine Series pays homage to global food traditions and travel, and asks “What does home taste like to you?” The series kicked off on Tuesday, June 14, with Chef Tamika R. Francis, founder of Food and Folklore, who transported participants to Jamaica with “Dutch Pot from ‘Mobay.”
Two more virtual programs (via Zoom) are scheduled this summer:
Registration is free for all series programs. Sign up here and Zoom links will be sent to you. If you miss one, or you want to tune into the 2021 Destination Cuisine Series, videos of each session are available free here.
Though it’s still only virtual, the popular Fit Around the Farm has resumed for seniors who can participate in active yoga on Tuesdays, 10-11 a.m., and gentle chair yoga from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursdays. Local chefs are frequent guests and share tips for reducing salt and sugar intake important to senior diet and health. Want to register? Call Linda at 617-989-9920 or email Linda at email@example.com.
The oldest still existing farm in the city, the 1786 Fowler Clark Epstein Farm was the restored in 2018 by Historic Boston (HBI) for UFI’s headquarters and training center. It’s one of eight urban farm sites that UFI manages around the city. According to UFI’s director, Pat Spence, about 100 varieties of vegetable, herbs, and fruits are grown across UFI’s farm sites, including many different types of the same plant – for example, three to five variations of collard greens.
While summer is prime season for UFI’s work, the organization is busy all year long. UFI trains Urban Farmers through a 29-week Farmer Training Program, and sponsors the annual Urban Farming Conference in March each year in partnership with the Mass. Department of Agriculture. This spring, 150 people shopped at the third annual Seedling Sale. Leftover seedlings were donated to local nonprofits.
“We’re building a healthier community,” says UFI Director Pat Spence. “The point is to bring people to the space to experience what fresh food is all about.”
To learn more about UFI and programs at the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm, visit https://urbanfarminginstitute.org/.