Help Growers Like Naomi Move Mountains (of dirt!)

Pictured: Naomi (far right) with a couple community volunteers at the Potters Ave. Garden Build-out

People want to grow food, but need spaces for it. In 2011, SCLT gardeners, volunteers and staff helped build seven new community gardens in Providence.  But these gardens are still not enough – many more people are still waiting for a plot. One such person was Naomi Timbo, a local church pastor and mother of four.

“I had been hearing about the gardens ever since moving to Providence from Liberia in 1996,” she says, “but it wasn’t until this spring when I visited my friend Sarah’s crops that I knew – deep down inside – that I wanted to grow food too.”

Naomi and her four kids (ages 13, 11, 10 and 8) love fresh food and go to the Armory Park Market every week in the summer. They eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, but she wants them to learn to grow food on their own as well. “{By growing food], they will grow healthy and live longer. I want to extend that to my church [Crossroads Covenant Church on Cranston Street]. I have been praying that our church can get plots in the new gardens – we have not backyard or space to grow. ”

Through her patience while waiting for a garden space for her family, Naomi has been involved with SCLT in many ways. “I have stayed involved because, even though I don’t have a garden plot, [SCLT] staff have given me other ways to stay involved and give back.” She and two family members helped out with the Potters Ave. Garden build-out, where they were able to get to know their neighbors and the SCLT team.

Naomi and a relative jumping right into building new garden bed frames at Potters Ave.

SCLT supports people like Naomi with opportunities to get involved with the Community Growers Network, volunteering at community gardens, and through Plant Providence workshops, where she her kids can learn to grow food in the city (whether it’s their backyard, front yard or even the porch).

But the need is still there.

“[SCLT Community Gardens Director] Liza told me at the last workday that even state and city leaders are starting to realize we need more garden beds so more people can start growing food for their families and themselves,” Naomi recalls, “this gives me a lot of hope because, as I’ve seen from my church, there are a lot of people who don’t have jobs but do have time and a desire to be part of something.”

In this season of giving, donor contributions allow SCLT to reach more and more neighborhoods of Providence and offer the priceless gift of healthy food and a stronger community. SCLT recognizes the powerful impact of bringing people together having spaces for growing food. We imagine neighbors of every ethnicity, income and class will be able to grow safe, dependable, affordable food within walking distance of their homes.

Your end-of-year gift means we can get started right away with planning our 2012 community garden build-outs, educational workshop series, and Plant Sale seedling orders. With your support, SCLT is able to the needs of ALL kinds of growers, including Naomi!

Give today.

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