Last Thursday we had the pleasure of supporting a pair of our local freight farmers as they threw an open house to formally introduce their business, Corner Stalk, to the city of Boston. Guests included community members, city officials, as well as friends and family, who came together to learn more about their latest endeavor, becoming urban farmers.
Corner Stalk is one of a few commercial scale farming operations that has sprung up in the city of Boston since the passing of Article 89 this past December. The city is seeing a rapid transformation of unused spaces into edible landscapes, and an influx of innovative technology allowing more people to grow their own food. The previously-vacant lot where the open house was held is now home to four freight farms, all growing basil 365 days a year.
To passersby it may have looked like any other gathering in the neighborhood, but it was much more significant than that. Everyone there recognized the tremendous achievement of converting this vacant lot into a source of fresh, locally grown food right inside city limits. Conversations were buzzing around all things local food, and curiosity was abound as people shuffled in and out of the farms, eager to get a look inside. Shawn and Connie, Corner Stalk’s owners, served appetizers made with the basil so guests could sample what is being grown just a few feet away; needless to say there were barely any leftovers.
There was no denying the excitement in the air that night. Countless connections were made between guests interested in working together to improve access to local, healthy food in the city. The Corner Stalk open house is just one example of how urban agriculture can be a catalyst for community engagement and city revitalization.