By Lauren Polito
Levy Convention Centers and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) proudly partner with Green City Growers to cultivate and harvest the The Chef Garden. The Chef Garden is about 800 square feet and it provides fresh produce and herbs for Pine Street Inn. It is conveniently located at The Lawn On D, a 2.7-acre outdoor event and entertainment space next to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Throughout the 2019 season, over 500 pounds of fresh produce and herbs have been harvested and donated to the community.
Each Monday from May to November, Levy and Green City Growers harvest the Chef Garden. Depending on the time of year, there are always new herbs or vegetables available, a typical harvest includes basil, peppers, carrots, beans, bok choy, and so much more. In the last harvest of November 2019, the team harvested turnips, rosemary, and thyme. Each harvest is then donated to the Pine Street Inn.
“It’s an amazing experience to walk into a local food bank’s kitchen and see the chef’s eyes light up because they are receiving fresh, local, in season produce to incorporate into their meal,” said Director of Experience for Levy at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, William O’Brien. “It encourages them to experiment with new recipes and flavors that they don’t have the resources to provide.”
The Chef Garden is now prepared to weather the winter, and the Green City Growers team have planted garlic, which will be one of the first things to emerge in the spring, and harvested in the summer. Salt marsh hay protects the garden for the time being. With 2019 being the inaugural year for the garden, the groups are eager to continue to making an impact within the local Boston community. Looking forward to next season Levy and the MCCA are looking into doubling the harvest to provide over 1,000 pounds of produce in 2020. Brainstorming and research for next season has already begun, focusing on new combinations of produce and herbs that will bring the most fruitful harvest yet for many to enjoy throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
Lauren Polito is Associate Manager, Communications, for Levy Restaurants. Photo provided by Levy.