Andree Collier Zaleska’s Story
JP Green House is a zero-carbon demonstration home in Boston, with its own mini-farm on an urban lot (see www.jpgreenhouse.org). In 2008 our family bought a derelict house out of foreclosure, and we spent the next two years making it into a super-efficient home that uses 90% less energy than a conventional home. Along the way we cultivated 2000 square feet of the yard, reclaiming it from invasive weeds, such that it now provides produce for two families (eight people). We’re now ready to expand to farm more of the neighborhood, using land volunteered by neighbors and local organizations.
Our next project, set to begin in March 2012, is the front yard of a 150-year-old church in the center of Jamaica Plain. First Church in Jamaica Plain, Unitarian Universalist, has an unused 2800 square foot plot of dry grass in the front of the church, with full southern exposure and little shade. The ever-busy Food Pantry at the church has expressed a strong interest in providing fresh produce to its clients. With the cooperation of the church leadership, we are set to turn this area into a permaculture garden which would produce food for the Food Pantry, and create a farm-stand for the church members.
We are requesting $2000 in seed money to fund initial soil amendments for the church soil (which is poor in nutrients), and to create a mid-sized vermicomposting system at the JP Green House which would serve to enrich the soil at both sites, as well as future expansion of the urban farm.