What is Cambridge City Growers (CCG)?
CCG is a group of Cambridge residents who came together in the early days of the COVID pandemic to ensure an adequate food supply for all. We have established growing spaces throughout Cambridge, some in as part of community-owned land and others on private land, and distribute produce to those in need.
What are the goals of CCG?
- To grow and share as much food as possible, especially with those in need
- To build a local economy of sharing
- To build justice, sustainability, mutual aid, and cooperation into all our work
- To learn from each other with our hands in the soil (safely spaced)
- To experience the empowerment that comes from working together
Can anyone join CCG? How do I join?
Anyone living in Cambridge and surrounding areas is welcome to join us. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get back to you.
Do you have an online presence (social media? listserve? etc.)
Our website is: https://cambridgecitygrowers.wordpress.com.
Our Facebook page is Cambridge City Growers.
If you’d like to join our listserve, please let us know via our email, email@example.com
How does CCG operate and make decisions? Who participates in decision making?
CCG is still a new and loosely organized group. Decisions are made via consensus at a weekly meeting of our Coordinating Committee. Anyone is welcome to participate in this meeting, which meets via Zoom on Monday evenings at 5:30 p.m. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you the Zoom link.
Other committees include a Strategy, Democratic Structure, Site Management and Community Organizing. We are especially eager to recruit folks for Media and Fundraising.
Where in Cambridge does CCG operate?
Currently CCG operates 10 sites in Cambridge neighborhoods.
How does CCG grow food in a cramped city like Cambridge?
We look for a space that could accommodate one or two raised beds or more, as well as larger spaces that could be run by a group of community members. Some of our sites are just one raised bed in an unused portion of a homeowners’ lot, or a collection of planters in front of a local restaurant, or a few beds in a community space.
There’s lots of contaminated soil in Cambridge. How does CCG deal with that?
We only plant in raised beds or large planters containing new, uncontaminated soil, and fertilized with organic compost. We’ve connected with one provider of “pony poop”, and the Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary (Audubon Society) in Belmont for “goat goodies”
Where does CCG distribute the food that’s grown? Is it distributed for free?
At present, we are developing relationships with various community partners to determine how we might best distribute the food we grow. All food is distributed at no cost and without any requests for a donation.
We have distributed food via The Goree House, Margaret Fuller House, our own harvest events, and various community events. Our goal is to make the food we grow available to a wide variety of people in their neighborhoods.
Do I have to be an experienced gardener to participate?
Nope. Anyone interested in our mission is welcome. We don’t just need folks with gardening skills! Publicity, outreach, and grantwriting skills are particularly needed…but a willingness to work toward achieving our mission is the most important criteria.
I am an experienced gardener. How can I contribute?
We have a list of on-call “experts” who can guide us in our planting routines, or when we run into problems (what’s eating my plants?), etc. We’re hoping to work more with youth in upcoming years, and experienced gardeners would be very helpful.
I’d really like to grow my own food. Can you provide me with a space to do that?
Unfortunately, not. Our goal is provide a space where people can work together to help meet the need for nutritious food for our community as a whole.
I grow more food than I need in my personal space. Can I share it with you?
If you already have a growing space, and produce excess food, we are happy to help you harvest and distribute your bounty.
I have a sunny spot near my home that I am not using. Can I make it available for you to grow stuff?
Absolutely YES! Some of our first gardens were on unused parts of homeowner’s property. We have refurbished beds that haven’t been used in awhile and installed completely new beds. We’re can do the work, and can subsidize the cost of materials, although most landowners have contributed a portion (or all) of the cost of materials.
I have some gardening equipment I’m not using. Can I donate it to you? Can I get a tax deduction?
We have an ongoing need for tools, large planters, and materials for raised beds. We’re especially interested in greenhouse materials to help us extend the growing season. Contact us at email@example.com.
I think this is a great idea, but actual gardening is not for me. What other roles are available?
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always looking to grow our membership and, like many grassroots organizations, need contributions in all areas of our operations.