GardenSoxx in Bowdoin Geneva

Garden Soxx

GardenSoxx participants Maria Andrade, Yolanda Wilson, and Maria Da Silva show off their tomato and pepper plants. Andrade and Da Silva are both BSHC patients while Bowdoin Geneva resident Wilson volunteered her efforts during GardenSoxx distribution day at the health center on June 4, 2016.

A seasonably warm day marked the launch of GardenSoxx in Bowdoin Geneva. Held on Saturday June 4, 2016 in the parking lot of the Bowdoin Street Health Center, the GardenSoxx distribution day represented the culmination of early spring planning between the health center, community partners, and funders.

GardenSoxx is a container gardening system that is easily transportable and can be used in place of traditional backyard gardening in neighborhoods such as Bowdoin Geneva where garden space or desirable soil conditions are often limited. It is free of cost to participants. The GardenSoxx system has given residents and health center patients a unique and affordable opportunity to grow produce within the comforts of their living spaces.

A typical GardenSoxx system consists of eight 2’ X 8 “mesh bags that combine to form a 4’ X 4’ garden. The mesh containers come pre-filled with locally sourced compost made from recycled green waste, providing a safe and healthy environment for produce to grow. The Family Gardening Initiative, a nonprofit organization based in Ohio, provides seeds, plants, a watering can, recipe book, and resource manual to support participants with their gardening activities. Ongoing outreach and guidance is provided throughout the growing season.

In support of the program, Dorchester based Revision Urban Farm grew a variety of tomato and pepper seedlings to complement cucumber, bean, lettuce, basil, spinach, and collard seeds already included in the GardenSoxx package. Fifty families participated in GardenSoxx including residents, patients, and community partners Gertrude Townsend ABCD and the Sustainability Guild. GardenSoxx outreach and distribution is led by the health center’s Healthy Dorchester Coordinator Grantley Payne. The initiative was generously funded by the Krupp Family Foundation.