Gardening in the City: How and Where in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville

by Guy Contaldi.

If there is one thing I love it is fresh vegetables but city-living doesn't always lend itself to a large vegetable garden. That doesn't mean you still can't plant and harvest your own produce. Gardening has become popular in neighborhoods around Boston, Cambridge and Somerville.

There are several reasons to start vegetable gardening. Out of control gas prices and skyrocketing food costs at the grocery store are pinching our wallets. Health and safety issues also cause us to want to know where our food comes from. Concern about the environment is forcing us to look at how best to use our natural resources and luckily we have a lot of them.

This is where community gardening comes in and it is gaining popularity in and around the Boston area. Community gardens are typically garden plots built on vacant lots, and school or government grounds. Most gardens have plots to which gardeners are assigned. There is typically a small fee to cover water and other miscellaneous expenses. Each gardener is responsible for the care of their own plants as they would be in their own yard.

If you want a piece of the action or a plot of land to start growing your very own garden there are plenty of places to dig in. Here are some local gardens in the Cambridge, Somerville and Boston area.

Cambridge Community Gardens

There are thirteen community gardens in Cambridge serving as areas of beautification, vegetable production, and meeting places. The gardens are divided into plots and shared by groups of residents. The Cambridge Conservation Commission office encourages the formation and continuance of the community gardens. Residents interested in participating in the community gardens program are required to submit an application

The gardens in Cambridge are:

1. Whittemore Avenue Garden
2. William G. Maher Community Garden
3. Fresh Pond Reservation/Parkway Garden
4. McMath Park Community Garden
5. Corocoran Park Community Garden
6. Sacramento Street Community Garden
7. Field of Dreams Garden
8. Green Street Neighborhood Garden
9. Peggy Hayes Memorial Garden
10. Emily Garden
11. Squirrel Brand Community Garden
12. Moore Street Community Garden
13. Costa Lopez Taylor Park Community Garden

Sommerville Community Gardens

Somerville boasts almost a dozen Somerville community gardens. Each garden is managed by one or more volunteer Garden Coordinators. Coordinators assign plots, help gardeners get seeds and compost, and provide information and advice to those who want it. Garden plots are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

The Somerville gardens are:

  • Albion Community Garden
  • Durrell Community Garden
  • Allen St. Community Garden
  • The Somerville Community Growing Center
  • Tufts Community Garden
  • SHA Clarendon Hill Community Garden
  • SHA Mystic Apartments Community Garden
  • Avon Community Garden
  • Osgood Park & Garden
  • Walnut StreetPark & Garden
  • GlenPark & Garden

Boston Community Gardens

The City of Boston has over 150 active community gardens. The gardens span from communally-maintained pocket parks to gardens of separately cultivated vegetable plots. If you are looking for a place to garden in Boston you can contact Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN) for an interactive map of area gardens, or information on how you can get started.

So no need to get your produce at the grocery store anymore. Get out and get your hands dirty and if you have more fresh veggies than you can handle give me a call I will be happy to help you eat them. Happy gardening!
Guy Contaldi serves Ziprealty Boston real estate clients, and has a special affinity for real estate in Somerville MA - his hometown. You can also visit Guy Contaldi’s blog here.