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Dorchester celebrates end of Fresh Fridays with dinner in Coleman Street Garden

Posted by Patrick Rosso  September 17, 2012 02:59 PM

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(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)


Carol Tobias, 61, of Dorchester, grabbing herself a plate at Friday's cook-out.



As the trees begin to turn and the night air grows a little colder, the Dorchester community bid farewell to the neighborhood’s Fresh Fridays for the season.

The community gathering/café, put on by the Dorchester Community Food Co-op and other local organizations, celebrated the end of the healthy community cook-outs with a grand finale Friday at the Coleman Street Garden.

The evening dinners, which cost $5 and provided a place for residents to get healthy portions of nutritious food, were held throughout the summer as a way to bring the community together.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino made a stop at the garden Friday to celebrate the end of the season and sample a few of the offerings.

“This is a great night on Coleman Street,” Menino told the crowd while he eyed the green beans. “It takes all of us to make these types of events happen, and I’ve always believed that these urban gardens are the nucleus of a strong neighborhood.”

While the growing season is coming to a close, the co-op is gearing up for a winter of planning.

The group will continue its wildly successful Winter Farmers’ Market in Codman Square and will also be using recently received grant money to conduct a feasibility study for its planned store.

“For next year’s market we need to work on the price point and make sure what’s available meets the needs of the community,” said Jenny Silverman, project manager for the co-op. “We also want to extend the hours.”

The group has been working over the past couple of years to organize a community and worker owned co-op, to provide residents with a healthy and affordable supermarket right in the heart of Dorchester. Currently a 130, $100 memberships have been purchased by residents and interested parties.

“The purpose of the co-op is to bring people together and provide healthy food and create jobs,” said Silverman. “The co-op is going to be a store, but it’s much broader than that; it will be a food hub.”

The group is currently organizing for the upcoming study that will help organizers understand the challenges of opening a store and what type of funding will be necessary.

Although a location for the store has yet to be determined, Silverman said the community is getting behind the co-op and a select number of sites are being discussed within the group.

To find out more about the Dorchester Community Food Co-op or other initiatives by the group, click here.

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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)


Jusarah Mendes, 5, of Dorchester getting her face painted by Star, the face painting fairy,

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