Room to grow in Boston: Local food culture and community building

Posted on December 8, 2012 by


Elizabeth Gillis

By Elizabeth Gillis 

Sharon Kelly surveys her garden beds from atop a re-purposed cat litter box on the corner of Clarendon and Warren Street in Boston’s South End. Digging into the soil she removes unruly thyme next to the pink rose stems she will soon cut down in anticipation of the cold months ahead. It’s an unusually warm afternoon in mid-November.

“On a day like this you go outside and use it,” she says to Paul Duffy, who has just arrived to tend to a box on her left.

“I grow peonies…roses…lilies….and weeds,” he says. “I do very well at weeds.”

Kelly and Duffy have known each other for almost 20 years. Duffy has lived in the neighborhood since he was a boy, working at a florist’s shop near where the community garden is today.

Kelly has lived here for about 25 years.

“My grandfather taught me how to garden…

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