Build Better Podcast

Creating Connection through Urban Farming with Christopher Grallert of Green City Growers

by Emily Langner

Christopher Grallert

On season 3, episode 2 of the Build Better podcast, Anastasia welcomed Christopher Grallert, president of Green City Growers, a company whose mission is to provide inspiring shared experiences for employees, customers, and community members that educate and enable people to grow food sustainably.

Grallert shared more about how the team at Green City Growers is furthering their goal of creating increased connection with onsite gardens, and educating the next generation on how to create and maintain local food systems in Boston and beyond.

Founded in 2008, Green City Growers “installs, maintains and provides programming around onsite food production and ecological landscaping – from preschools, sensory gardens to senior living communities,” said Grallert. “We’re helping to protect and restore ecological systems through organic agriculture – these have beneficial impacts on climate change and food and water security and disaster risk resilience.”

Grallert added that his mission is also “to bring people together, and to build bridges, and to help people understand that we are much more alike than we are different.” He said working in a food production space is a great environment for doing that and for building community.

The team at Green City Growers is passionate about getting the next generation of young people involved in the mission. The organization is currently working with Boston Public Schools, offering a PreK-12 curriculum built around STEM education, and offering special needs programming. “At the end of this year, we’ll have gardens up and running at more than 40 Boston public schools, and it’s amazing to watch kids who have maybe never known  about how things grow or where their food comes from, to see them to get in that therapeutic and recuperative space,” he explained.

Grallert said that teaching young people how to produce food in urban settings will help in building a food production infrastructure at the local level that is resilient, sustainable and regenerative. “If younger people can get inspired around growing vegetables…we can be a part of the transformation of the food system,” he shared.

As he looks to the future, Grallert says, “We want to be a part of building bridges. I think we need to participate in conversations with what we call the whole portfolio of the food system including large-scale agriculture so we can learn and take from them the good things and incorporate them into a more localized food production system. I think what we are doing now is going to be a part of building a foundation for a much more local and distributed food system from seed all the way to the consumer.”