Last week, Jeanine gave us five reasons to buy locally-grown plants. Several New England farms sell plants at farmers markets throughout the city. But there are still a few garden centers here in town where Bostonites can get their blooms and greens. One of our favorites is Allandale Farm.
Located on the border of Brookline and Jamaica Plain, Allandale Farm is Boston's oldest — and only — working farm. For over 250 years, they have tilled the soil in this bucolic corner of the city using organic methods. The farm specializes in hardy annual and perennial plants, cut flowers and vegetables in season, bulbs and seeds, containers, soil amendments, gardening tools, fresh native turkeys and Christmas trees. For folks in the area, they have a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, shares of which include produce, eggs, meat, and flowers.
Their farm stand offers sustainably grown fresh produce and honey from their own apiary, as well as a nice line of products from other local or MA producers such as Clear Flour Bread, Ever so Humble Pie, Redeye Roasters Coffee, and Crescent Ridge Dairy. An assortment of artisanal cheeses, fresh pastas and sauces round out the line.
During the summer, the farm provides a day camp for children ages 5-10 with hands-on exposure to farm operations in this truly magical outdoor environment. In addition to camp, they offer demonstrations and workshops in everything from seeding and pruning to cider- and scarecrow-making. So the next time you're in the market for plants, consider a visit to one of your neighborhood garden centers. Not only will you get healthier plants, but you'll be helping to keep the urban farming community alive and well.
MORE BOSTON GARDEN CENTERS
• Mahoneys in Brighton
• Pemberton Farms in Cambridge
• Ricky's Flower Market in Somerville
For information on plant offerings at your neighborhood farmers market, visit the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets.
Images: Ronee Saroff