Every morning during the week, Yasser Aponte navigates the tight, densely-packed streets of Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood until the streets suddenly, almost without warning, give way to a lush, two-acre farm. It’s there that Aponte (literally) rolls up his sleeves, and gets to work.
Row after tidy row of carrots, snap peas, raspberries, soy beans, spinach, kale, cilantro, beets, arugula, kidney beans, lettuce, and garlic grow languidly in the middle of a cramped, boisterous neighborhood where car horns blare and crushed soda cans jangle down the streets.
Aponte, who is studying international affairs and religious studies at Northeastern, spends his days painstakingly weeding, watering, harvesting, and planting anew the crops on the farm, then he helps distribute them to local residents and businesses. “It’s taxing work, but it’s rewarding,” he says.