March Newsletter «

March Newsletter

Here’s the Newsletter that was sent to mailing list subscribers in March.

Send a message if 1) you would like to be placed on waiting list for volunteer orientations when they start up in next 2-4 weeks and 2) if you would like to get our monthly news listing of events, volunteer opportunities and resources?


March events, some with Volunteer opportunities as noted, and items of potential interest:

March 9th, 10am-2pm
Somerville Maple Syrup Boil Down
Somerville Community Growing Center, 22 Vinal Ave
Step outside for a few hours to learn about a natural resource from Somerville trees! Watch and learn as sap from local trees is boiled down into pure maple syrup over a hot fire. Family-friendly activities. This educational program is coordinated by Groundwork Somerville, in partnership with the Somerville Community Growing Center and Tufts University and others. For more info, .

March 13th, 7-9pm
Somerville Garden Club,
Tufts Administration building, 167 Holland Ave
All Somerville Garden club meetings are free and open to the public on the 2nd Wed of the month.

March 12th, 4:30-6pm
Food Security Coalition
337 Broadway, Somerville Community Corporation, 2nd floor conference room
Anyone welcome to join this meeting, usually held monthly in rotating locations around the city, for all interested in food access, food justice and building stronger interconnections to support food security for all. The Growing Center is a partner in the Food Rescue Network under development. For more information, contact Lisa or 617.591.6940

March 13th, 7-9:30pm
One Seed at a Time, special event ($15)
Museum of Science
The program features Dr. Cary Fowler and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, and the producer and the writer of the film The Fruit Hunters, which unveils the little-known world of exotic fruits and stresses how intertwined we are with the fruit that we eat. Following the program, we are hosting a reception during which audience members can taste exotic fruits, drink special exotic fruit cocktails, learn how to save and swap seeds (FCGC volunteers will be there and  MoS bought organic High Mowing Seeds from us to give away to participants!),

March 15th, deadline
2013 Volunteer Coordinator application
See notice below if you might be interested in an 8-10 hrs/wk contract position to help coordinate our most valuable asset—our volunteers! Send resume/ or similar statement, with statement of interest . Thank you to Kristen Hoffman for her dedication to this role in 2012! Both she and Aileen, as well as board members, will help to orient new person in role.

March 15th, deadline
The City of Somerville’s Parks and Open Space Department and the Recreation Department are looking for feedback from Somerville residents to help better understand the demands placed upon City facilities. The survey  is short and will take less than 5 minutes to complete.  It’s also posted on the City’s Facebook page—spread the word!

March 16th, 4:30pm
Cold Frame Construction Workshop
School of Nursing, 125 Lowell St (parking in Belmont St lot)
Interested in stretching the growing season? Always wanted to set up your own cold frame or hoop house, but not sure how? Green City Growers ( ) staff will walk you through the process, with some of their finished products on display. Hosted with Spring Hill Garden @ Somerville Hospital 617.591.6940 or RSVP

March 19th, 6-8pm
Somerville City Hall, 93 Highland Ave
Author Mike Lanza will speak on how to make each neighborhood in Somerville a great place for children to play outside and connect with children on their block. Exchange ideas with a panel of community leaders.

March 23rd and April 20th, check website for times, mid-day
Compost Workshop
Somerville Community Growing Center
Have you wanted to learn about urban composting or had trouble managing a healthy compost bin? Come learn the basics of turning yard and food waste into a valuable soil amendment in one of the most rewarding ecological activities that fits well in the city. Learn a few simple guidelines and see a range of options.  Please note: Attendance at a composting workshop AND a Volunteer Orientation are required to participate in composting program at the Growing Center (arrangements can be made to do the workshop via a webinar, if needed.) Contact: Lee  (617) 628-9988 or

March 30th, 9:30am-2pm
Get Your Garden Ready! @ Somerville Winter Farmers Market
191 Highland Ave, Center for the Arts at the Armory
Composters for sale (with bike delivery available). Seed swap and organic seeds. Kids planting activities. And other urban agriculture treats! Sponsored by the Somerville Winter Farmers Market with the Mayor’s Urban Agriculture Initiative, Friends of the Community Growing Center and more! Check the market Facebook page for updates!

Be starting your own seedlings to swap with others on May 4th at Spring Garden Day!

March 30th, 11am-5pm
38th Annual Gardeners Gathering in Boston
Egan Center and Shilman Hall, Northeastern Univ, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston
Boston Natural Areas Network ( hosts a full season of workshops, kicked off by this full day of garden skill-shares, talk and demonstrations. Check their website for other events!

April 27th, 2-4pm
Spring Work Day
Somerville Community Growing Center, 22 Vinal Ave
Come join the Somerville Girl Scouts for a spring work day! Planting, transplanting seedlings, other spring tasks to help prepare for our Annual Spring Garden Day on May 4th! RSVP or just stop by. Bring gloves, if you have them.

Volunteer Orientations
Join our core group of volunteers who keep this place alive. Orientations are offered throughout the season and last about one hour. Organizations offering programs on site must arrange to attend a training before your program start date. Childcare or language support available by prior arrangement, when possible. To get on contact list for upcoming trainings, email or check website for dates

Please help us reuse materials you are likely recycling every week, between now and May 4th. We need toilet paper tubes for seed starting and pint and quart size flexible plastic food containers (yogurt, hummus, etc. that we will be able to put drain holes in) for transplanting seedlings. Drop them off in the barn at the Growing Center, leave on porch at 16 Holyoke Rd, or contact if you need to make other arrangements.

To volunteer to host a program or event in the 2013 Growing Center calendar, contact us at

VOLUNTEERS WITH INTEREST IN SUSTAINING THE GROWING CENTER: We are seeking additional board members. No prior experience required, but willingness to join a dedicated group that meets 8-10 times/year, assists with site management, programming and fundraising. Contact if interested.

VOLUNTEER WITH VEHICLE NEEDED: We need someone to pick up our potting soil order from NOFA  on Sat, March 16th  at Waltham Fields Community Farm, 240 Beaver St, Waltham between 9AM – 1PM. Please contact if you can help!

Voiunteers needed for Spring Garden Day, Saturday May 4th, from 8am-1pm in shifts. Contact Lisa at

Other items of interest:

Saturdays from 10am-1pm through
April 13                                                                                                Somerville Mobile Farmers Market @ Clarendon Hill Community Room
268 Powerhouse Blvd. Fruits and Vegetables are available at affordable prices. If you use your EBT card, you pay ½ price! For more information, contact Groundwork Somerville at 617-628-9988

Museum of Science Free Film Fridays March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29Thanks to generous support from MathWorks, all IMAX® films in the Mugar Omni Theater each Friday in March are free! Pick up tickets at the Museum box office on the day of the show only (first come, first served). Check the daily schedule for upcoming showtimes. For a list of current IMAX films, visit
Leadership Development Institute Spring Course (LDI) is offered by Somerville Community Corps on Saturdays (3/30, 4/6, 4/20, 4/27). This series of training sessions is designed to help individuals gain the skills important to becoming strong leaders in the community. To request application, contact: Rene at or call 617.776-5931 x 226.

There are some fruits and vegetables that are safer than others. For your own guide to pesticides commonly found in produce

If you know someone interested in finding a farm job, refer them to the “2013 Farm Employment Directory, a guide to finding a farm job in Massachusetts” a publication of the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project.  (click on “Resources” and “Farm Employment”.


The Friends of the Community Growing Center is the volunteer group that supports the planning, maintenance and funding needs of the city owned garden/park space at 22 Vinal Avenue in Somerville, MA. Volunteers are the key resource of this dynamic community resource, helping to implement a wide range of activities and events each season.

Contract terms are dependent on experience, equivalent of $14-18/hour, for approximate average of 8 hours/week over key active months of April through October, less other months. Hours to be set by consultant, but will require some weekend days and evenings. Payment on quarterly schedule. Communicates with Executive Committee of the FCGC. Interviews will start in April, and will continue until position filled. Current volunteer coordinator will be available to support transition.
How to Apply:  Please send letters of interest and resume by  March 15th to:

-Strong communication skills-written, oral, visual
-Strong organizational skills, including electronic documentation (such as Excel, database management)
-Demonstrated volunteer experience, coordination of volunteers and/or development of volunteer base, preferably community-based.
-Experience working with range of ages and cultures, children to seniors
-2nd language and/or demonstrated experience working with Somerville’s cultural populations
-Experience with gardening and/or physical space management
-Personal experience with the Growing Center or demonstrated relevant experience
-Familiarity with Somerville social infrastructure, with ties to sectors such as child serving organizations, food production/gardening, media/outreach, environmental/sustainability community or other relevant groups

Key areas of responsibility:

-Recruit and manage volunteers to assist with full range of responsibilities, including these listed under coordinator, at coordinator’s discretion

-Organize volunteer trainings throughout active year

-Maintain database of volunteers and individuals interested in SCGC activities

-Organize and Manage Volunteer Teams

-Maintain or update, as needed, forms for tracking and updating database

-Communicate needs for and of volunteers to FCGC Board

-Updating of Web calendar, Facebook, etc for social media communications

-Create e-newsletter, approx. 8-10/yr, to communicate with volunteers and keep public informed of opportunities and offerings

-Manage promotion of events and programs

-Site visits to review space ready and safe for programs/events, update needs for volunteers, and provide supports for volunteers____________________________________________________________
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A place for people of all ages and backgrounds to gather, learn and celebrate – to grow community. | Located @ 22 Vinal Ave., Somerville, MA 02143