Cultivate Your Food Economy
The Tisch College Community Research Center (TCRC) provided seed funding for Cultivate Your Food Economy: Community Tools and Data for Building a New Food Economy, a 2013 project of the Tufts Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning's Practical Visionares Workshop.
This research had two primary components. The Food Economy Engagement Tool (FEET) is a survey and food purchasing log in which participants track where their food dollars go. It is designed to be used with a popular education workshop series in which individuals then reflect on their collective patterns. The second and a set of maps of the food economy in Somerville and Roxbury-Dorchester which includes production, processing, distribution, retail, consumption, and recycling sites in the area. In addition, the team conducted visual surveys of 65 gardens in the Dudley triangle and interviewed 39 gardeners, estimating that these community resources are producing 50 types of vegetables and fruits and yielding an estimated 4,400 pounds of produce.
As a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project, the study was conducted in conjunction with local leaders and organizations, particularly Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), and the Somerville Community Corporation (SCC).