Man Transforms a Traffic Island into a Garden to Grow Food for the Homeless

Tending to veggies isn’t new to John Fallon, a Beverly Farms native who learned to grow his own crops when he was a child.

He helped his Irish immigrant dad tend their backyard garden and learned all the tricks of the trade.

Half a century later, he’s using those farming skills that have improved with many years of gardening to help those in need.

Fallon Grows Veggies on a Traffic Island for the Homeless

As of 2016, Fallon has been growing veggies on a traffic island located in Beverly Hills. He donates the produce to homeless shelters, food pantries, and other organizations that help the families with low or no income.

In the first four years, through his non-profit, Fallon harvested and donated 3000 pounds of produce per year.

This year, as response to the pandemic, he expects this number to reach 5000 pounds. Fallon who still resides in Beverly Farms says that he was aware that the need for produce was going to increase.

A retired test engineer in the semiconductor industry, the 61-year-old humanitarian emphasizes the promotion of economic and social justice as his main motivation for philanthropy.

Fallon notes that people are getting laid off and can’t find work for reasons they cannot control. Some of these people lose their job due to automation. He believes that every person should help the one that’s less fortunate than they are.

Fallon himself experienced job loss after he was laid off from his semiconductor job back in 2007.

When Did Fallon’s Philanthropy Journey Began?

In 2014, Fallon donated surplus tomatoes from his backyard garden to a farming program for the children in the inner city.

This inspired him to grow veggies the next year in the community garden in Beverly and then donated them to the local meal programs run by churches.

Then, in 2016, he came up with the idea to grow crops on an idle traffic island on Hale Street.

The owner of the island, i.e. the State Department of Transportation, gave him the necessary authorization to farm the land free of charge if he donates all of the crops to charity.

Fallon is making sure all of the produce is organic and he’s supportive of sustainable farming which is another thing he’s proud of.

A passionate advocate for the environment and sustainability, Fallon’s 8000-square-foot Beverly Farms Garden offers peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, acorn, broccoli, eggplant, and butternut squash.

Does Fallon Do It all By Himself?

Although he does the growing and harvesting himself, he also uses occasional assistance from volunteers like the students from the Landmark School and the women’s soccer team at Gordon College.

According to the headmaster of Landmark, Bob Broudo, Fallon makes significant difference in the lives of the individuals who need his produce but also in the entire community.

People describe him as passionate and dedicated.

Sources:

BOSTON GLOBE

THE HEARTY SOUL

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