BostonTalks: Urban Farming

WED, MAY 18, 2016 (1:02:42)

Life on the farm now has a whole new meaning. Join us to talk about all the farming being done right here in our city, from the growing going on in shipping containers, vacant lots, and the roof of a local CrossFit, to the creation of “green-collar jobs” and the benefits of scratch cooking. (Photo: Homegrowndotorg/Flickr)

+ BIO: Edgar B. Herwick, III

Edgar Herwick is the guy behind WGBH’s Curiosity Desk, where the quest is to dig a little deeper into (and sometimes look a little askew at) topics in the news, and search for answers to questions posed by the world around us. His features can be seen on WGBH’s Greater Boston and heard on 89.7 WGBH’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He also appears regularly with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on Boston Public Radio. Follow him on Twitter @ebherwick3.

+ BIO: Brad McNamara

Brad McNamara is the CEO and co-founder of Freight Farms, an agriculture technology company that provides physical and digital solutions for creating local produce ecosystems on a global scale. Brad and his co-founder developed the company’s flagship product, the Leafy Green Machine, to allow any business to grow a high-volume of fresh produce in any environment regardless of the climate. He has big expectations for the future, envisioning Freight Farms scattered across the globe making a dramatic impact on how food is produced. Brad has an MBA and Masters in Environmental Science from Clark University.

+ BIO: JT Scott

JT is a parallel processing entrepreneur who currently manages at least 3 separate businesses: CrossFit Somerville, Union Wellness Center, and JTSRE Holdings. At CrossFit Somerville, he is a trainer who enjoys introducing new and formerly-untrained athletes to the prospect of unlocking their potential. He is dedicated to the goal of maintaining CrossFit Somerville as a facility that provides access to life-changing fitness education and inspiration to all comers. In addition, he is a Biomedical and Electrical Engineer, Licensed Massage Therapist, and chronic experimenter in new methods. He has been founding CrossFit facilities since 2009. JT’s passion is fostering community by creating welcoming environments and motivating people to use conscious choice as a practice in their lives inside and outside of the training facility. His mission is to change the world. Outside of CrossFit, JT is a queer activist and engaged in local politics, serving on the Founding Committee of Union Square Neighbors and as a Director of Union Square Main Streets. He is also a (literal) fire-breather and fire-eater with the Boston Circus Guild, amongst his many other interests.

+ BIO: Tristram Keefe

Tristram Keefe is an Urban Farmer from Boston, Mass. He is currently the Farm Manager at the Urban Farming Institute where he manages production on three urban farms in Dorchester and Roxbury. After completing the Urban Farming Institute’s farmer training program, Tristram held the position of Farm Manager at City Growers LLC from 2013 to 2015. When he is not in the fields Tristram enjoys deejaying, cooking, and wild foods.

+ BIO: Liana Peterson

Liana made a career pivot from a fashion and media consultant to overseeing her family’s foundation in 2015. Her first initiative has been on creating strategies around healthy food access in the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood in Dorchester, connecting through healthcare, urban agriculture and economic development. Her husband, Michael’s work in the restaurant industry through The Achilles Project/Persephone and Area Four was the spark for the food sovereignty work she is currently overseeing.

+ BIO: Jeff Pond

Jeff Pond didn’t initially set out for a life in culinary arts; it’s more like the culinary arts chose him. Before moving to Boston in 2000, he was working at a local steakhouse in Westport, CT to make some money, while studying Marriage and Family Therapy at Fairfield University. But after this initial stint in the restaurant industry, Jeff decided to see what a life in the kitchen had to offer. Following a year-long certification program at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, Jeff joined the kitchen at Barbara Lynch’s No. 9 Park. For the next several years, Jeff traveled the world as a private chef and then worked his way from bread baker (where the sourdough starter for his Area Four/A4 Pizza dough was born) to Chef de Cuisine at Tomasso Trattoria in Southborough, MA. In the fall of 2008, Jeff joined co-owner Michael Krupp as Chef de Cuisine to open The Achilles Project/Persephone. After the concept came to a close, Jeff joined chef Michael Leviton as Chef de Cuisine at Lumiere before opening Area Four and becoming partner as the team opened A4 Pizza in Somerville, which sadly closed due to a fire connected to the building in 2015. Jeff is currently overseeing the expansion of Area Four through its mobile pizza oven and new locations in the South End in Boston and Central Square in Cambridge, opening in fall 2016.

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