Free seedlings for Cambridge kids - and how you can help
Updated: Jun 2, 2020
Henry Street Farms will provide one vegetable or herb seedling to each Cambridge, MA student willing to commit to caring for a plant, until we run out of seedlings. Pre-schoolers are also eligible. Fill out this form to request a seedling. Either a parent or a student may fill out this form. If you wish to support this program, you can (1) donate large (3-5 gallon) pots, provide potting soil, or fertilizer, or (2) volunteer to help with delivery and administration of the program. Pots, soil and fertilizer can be dropped off at 116 Henry Street. Volunteers can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Also: tell families about the program!
We have about 70 seedlings available; first come first served. If we get a lot of interest, then we will also welcome donations of seedlings. Due to covid-19, we will tell you in advance the date and time of seedling delivery, and leave the seedling outside your home.
The goal of the program is to get more kids interested in growing food in our city. We hope this will also provide a fun activity for kids who are stuck at home now that schools are closed.
Dave and I have had fun dropping off some of the seedlings. One morning we had 25 places to visit. This is a classic orienteering problem! Also, it is the traveling salesman problem: given a set of locations, and distances between them, find the most efficient order in which to visit them. In real life, you need to consider the direction of one-way streets, typical travel times with street-lights and traffic.
I discovered that MapQuest has a lovely route planning tool to solve the route-planning problem, for up to 26 locations: https://www.mapquest.com/routeplanner -- check it out! You can paste in a set of addresses, so it is super easy to use. Be sure to turn on the switch for "Allow us to re-order stops on your route."