US: architect develops greenhouse for his Boston neighborhood

Justin Brazier didn’t always know that his path in life would take him right back home. While pursuing his master’s, Brazier has stayed involved with the Farmers Collaborative. He is currently working on a project with Velarus and David to build a year-round greenhouse in Mattapan, a neighborhood of Boston with a large Haitian population, where his dad grew up. Brazier has also brought professor and licensed architect Sheila Kennedy, his mentor at MIT, on board to help with the project.

A major goal of the greenhouse project is to improve food security in Mattapan through urban agriculture. Brazier is taking a holistic approach to the project, informed by the neighborhood’s input. “We’re thinking about the agricultural process in a full cycle, where we have pollination to food growth to composting,” he says. Besides the main greenhouse, the community space will have a bee apiary, several outside grow beds and a composting area.

The space will also serve as a place for the community to get together. People can relax in the patio seating area or host an open-air farmer’s market out back. Brazier also hopes to introduce educational programs in the space for kids to learn about agriculture and climate. “We want to create a space that contributes to the overall sustainability of the neighborhood, culturally and socially,” Brazier says.

The greenhouse will sit on a corner lot on the highly trafficked Morton Street. The lot is a short five-minute walk from the street’s major intersection with Blue Hill Avenue. “It’s a prominent area that can really show off what the community is able to do,” Brazier says.

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