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Urban farming could cultivate job growth

RE “GROWN in Boston” (Ideas, Jan. 19): Urban farming in Boston certainly does fire the imagination. But even the simplest approach to commercial food production in the city — converting vacant land to vegetable farms — would do more than inspire creativity. Urban farming is a shrewd investment in green jobs where they are needed the most.

The Trust for Public Land and our partners estimate that the capital costs needed to acquire and improve a single quarter-acre farm are only $5 per square foot. This modest investment creates the conditions for at least one full-time seasonal job on each site, a job that would nearly double the annual income for one out of four households in neighborhoods like Roxbury.

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While Boston, and indeed Massachusetts as a whole, may never be able to solve all of its food security challenges on its own, we can turn otherwise unused land into the source of sustainable jobs while beautifying the city. We applaud the City of Boston and all of the advocates who have come together to make these investments a possibility.

Kevin Essington

Massachusetts state director

The Trust for Public Land

Boston

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