Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Food Project - One Last Push to Save A Precious Garden

I'm so glad our city leaders are so uninformed some times. It really keeps me on my toes. FarmGate2010 has been no exception. While it seemed almost brain-dead obvious to me that the Ingalls Farm lease should get renewed without question, two councilors and one resident thought otherwise. That one resident was able to gather 70+ signatures on her petition which stated the following:

"We. The undersigned, homeowner’s and neighbors are asking the City of Lynn School Committee to stop the Ingall’s School Garden because of rats, vandalism, and gangs for our safety, health and peace of neighborhood. "

Now, if this were true, we'd have to get right behind the 70+ and support them. It is, however, categorically FALSE. It borders on a boldface lie. Councilor Cyr and Councilor Trahant stood proud behind the lie. Trahant has since reversed his opinion. This stance from our council along with the flood of letters from supporters of the garden cause the school committee to table the decision in October.

FACT: 30,000 pounds of local food produced by Ingalls School garden
FACT: Not one piece of bait disturbed by a rat on the The Food Project's property all season
FACT: Not one tag or sign of vandalism in recent years.
FACT: Boston experts were brought in by the Lynn Housing Authority and identified all the sources of the rat problem in the neighborhood. (The garden was not on that list).

The farm has the undying support of the school principal, students, several neighbors who have garden plots on this farm, and the 223 people who have signed's petition to save the Ingalls School garden.  I thank you for backing the right horse.

Also a source of inspiration for this year's Halloween costumes!
I should probably note, for those conspiracy theorists among us, rats don't actually like or go after fresh carrots. They don't typically dress up like farmers, either.

My wife does make one fine veggie, though.

Letter from James Harrison on 11/12/2010

Dear Friends,

We’ve reached the home stretch.  Since I last wrote, we have submitted a formal request to the Buildings and Grounds Subcommittee of the Lynn School Committee asking for the renewal of our lease at the Ingalls School.  We are officially on the agenda for the School Committee’s next meeting, this Wednesday, November 17.

Your support of The Food Project and our work at the Ingalls Farm has been tremendous.  Thanks so much to all of you who have called and emailed the School Committee, signed the online petition at and added your own statements, and, most especially, to all of you who showed up to support us at the last School Committee meeting on October 28.

We need your help one more time to carry us over the finish line.

Come and show your support on November 17. 

The group of supporters who came to the last School Committee meeting were crucial in demonstrating community support for the Ingalls Farm.  We will need to show this kind of support again on November 17 to save the farm.

If you are willing and able to come, please let me know so I can make sure we are there in force.  The best way to reach me is by email at

The Details:
Where: The Tiger’s Den (1st floor of the LVTI Annex), 90 Commercial Street Lynn, MA.
When: Wednesday, November 17 at 6:15pm

Thank you!!!!

James Harrison
North Shore Regional Director
The Food Project             
120 Munroe St.  
Lynn, MA 01901    

1 comment:

  1. It seems surprising why people are opposed to the garden, I can't understand. But it is good to hear that a councilman has reversed sides. He may of not had all the facts in hand, and might of been simply representing his constituents, from the only petition available at the time? I guess a good leader doesn't have to know everything upfront... but is able to change course with understanding. I like that, and wish other politicians in another city (not mentioning) would do the same thing, when listening to reason.


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