Boston Urban Agriculture

Boston Urban Agriculture featured image

Low-income neighborhoods in Boston, like many cities around the country, have limited access to healthy food. It’s a factor that contributes to significant health disparities. To help bring more fresh food to these communities—and to bolster neighborhood climate resilience with new green infrastructure—The Trust for Public Land and our community partners pioneered the transformation of local vacant lots into climate-smart urban farms. We created the first modern-era, zoning-compliant farm in Boston, plus four additional farms, one of which is home to a vibrant new community agriculture center and farmer-training program.

These farms include Fowler Clark Epstein Farm in Mattapan, Garrison-Trotter Farm in Dorchester, and, most recently, Tommy’s Rock Farm in Roxbury. These projects helped give rise to a robust urban agriculture movement in Boston, and our community partners are now independently creating new farms, thanks in part to local capital funding from the Boston Community Preservation Act, which the Trust for Public land helped enact in 2016. Local farmers are now growing fresh vegetables that are sorely needed in Boston neighborhoods designated as “food deserts” by the USDA, due to a lack of access to fresh, healthy food.