March 29, 2012
Can you believe the year is already 1/4 way done? Not to mention it’s about that time to start prepping your gardens! Lucky for us, yesterday’s drizzle let up just in time for our SCLT staff garden workday! We donned our garden gloves and took out our other gardening gear from their winter’s hiatus and spiffed up our side-yard garden. Some staff have already started seedlings inside. Hardy greens like kale and broccoli and root veggies can start to be seeded directly outside as well.
Leo turns over cover crop that we planted in October. Cover crop is a mix of grasses (we planted Winter Rye) that's turned over a couple weeks before planting, adding nitrogen back into the soil.
We got a lovely donation of compost from a community member who composts from her backyard. Compost is full of nutrient-rich organic matter – this means healthy soil and happy vegetables and plants!
This is Brock, our newest staff person! Brock is about to incorporate compost (that rich, dark, pile you see on the left), into his garden plot!
Need resources and tips for starting your garden? Visit the SCLT Urban Agriculture Resource Center or attend one of our Plant Providence workshops (next ones are Cultivating Perennials on March 31st and Soil Health and Remediation on April 7th). Happy Planting!
March 20, 2012
The Hub Launch Day will be a chance for new and experienced growers to join the Providence Community Growers Network (people can join year-round). Members of the network receive food-growing benefits like free compost, free admission into food-growing workshops, other food-growing resources, and all the benefits of regular SCLT membership – including 10% at Plant Sale at City Farm! April 14th will feature a compost and seed distribution for members of the network, and a free Beginning Growers Workshop for the public.
The PCGN is working with community leaders to establish 6 neighborhood Hubs throughout Providence. What exactly is a Hub? A Hub is a community garden or community center where people can pick up gardening materials, attend workshops, and community events. Each Hub will be easily accessible to people in each neighborhood, whether by foot, bike, bus, or car. This year, the PCGN will launch 3 hubs – one in South Providence, the West End, and Olneyville. By 2014, SCLT’s PCGN will open 3 more Hubs in North Providence, the Eastside, and Downtown.
SCLT envisions that these neighborhood Hubs will strengthen communities, forging collaborations between organizations, and bringing people together around growing food. “It’s really exciting – instead of having just one central location, each neighborhood will have a site that people are familiar with and can easily get to from where they live ,” says Liza Sutton, SCLT Community Growers Network Director, “We imagine neighbors will see other neighbors attending events or picking up compost and in turn, want to find out more about growing food themselves.”
March 19, 2012
This is Southside Community Land Trust’s third year of organizing the Plant Providence Calendar, which seeks to improve the health and welfare of Providence residents by empowering them with food-growing knowledge and resources.
The first Plant Providence Calendar workshop for 2012 will be Composting 101, held on Wednesday March 21 from 5:30-7pm. The workshop will feature a classroom based lesson on composting basics from 5:30-6:15pm at the SCLT office (109 Somerset) and from 6:20-7pm will move into a hands-on composting demonstration at City Farm (corner of W. Clifford St. and Dudley St.). This workshop will be taught by SCLT Community Growers Coordinator (and certified Master Composter) Cindy Llamas Shea and City Farm Apprentice Kathleen Reid.
The Urban Chickens workshop will be taught by SCLT Program Director (and savvy chicken keeper) Leo Pollock at 4 Theresa Court (off Willow Street Between Parade and Sycamore) on Saturday, March 24th 10am-noon. The workshop will cover all the chicken care basics and different kinds of coops one can use.
Cultivating Perennials will provide the knowledge of dividing and digging perennial bulbs for a beautiful garden year after year. The workshop, held at City Farm Saturday, March 31st from 10-11am, will also offer ways to get involved with cultivating perennials for the Plant Sale.
Growing food in an urban setting can be challenging if the soil is contaminated. Learn about the steps you can take to ensure that your garden’s soil is safe and healthy at the soil remediation workshop on Saturday, April 7th, 10-11am at Sidewalk Ends Farm (47 Harrison Street).
Registration for the workshops can be done online by going to www.plantprovidence.org or over the phone by calling (401) 273-9419, ext. 29. Workshops cost $5 per person unless otherwise noted. SCLT is devoted to keeping the Beginning Organic Growers Series Workshops (I, II, and III) free, which will be held in neighborhoods where fresh food is less readily accessible. Workshops are free for members of SCLT’s Providence Community Growers Network. Payment can be made online or at the day of the workshop.
March 14, 2012
(Edit: Date for “A Natural Order” is April 5th, not 6th)
* Athenaeum Salon Talk with Lucas Foglia Friday Mar. 30th, 5pm at the Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit St.
Ever wonder where SCLT gets so many beautiful images of its community gardens and growers? It’s all thanks to photographer Lucas Foglia! Come view his portfolio of community garden images and learn how the photographs are being used to impact the community of people growing food in Providence. Foglia will be speaking about his recent photography project, The Garden, in which he documented urban food producers at food gardens in diverse neighborhoods across the city of Providence during the summer of 2011.
Photo by Lucas Foglia. Greenwich Street Community Gardeners.
The Garden builds on Foglia’s previous work with SCLT in 2005 photographing gardeners and neighborhood families at its longest-growing community garden, Somerset Community Garden.
During his talk, Lucas will speak to the role his art has played in helping to further SCLT’s vision of taking its urban agriculture programs city-wide. As part of that effort, city residents can look forward to seeing Foglia’s photographs featured in a bus shelter poster campaign promoting membership to SCLT’s Providence Community Growers Network. The PCGN is a new initiative providing access to gardening resources, education, and community building for its members, helping Providence gardeners grow more food. We hope you will be part of this inspiring conversation about the intersections of art, community and food!
Photo by Lucas Foglia. Bridgham Street Community Garden.
This evening part of the Providence Athenaeum’s Friday Salon series.
Additionally, on April 5th, a solo exhibition of Foglia’s work, A Natural Order, will open at the List Art Center Auditorium at Brown University from 5:30-7:30pm and continue until May 27th.
March 12, 2012
Check out last year's blog post, where the PCGN and RIRRC distributed over 425 cubic yards of compost to 31 community gardens!
You know all those yard trimmings you and your neighbors leave on the side of the road for the city to pick up every week? Those same yard debris and residential leaf trimmings get turned into compost by the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Center (RIRRC)! Southside Community Land Trust’s Providence Community Growers Network collaborates with RIRRC to use its compost for all PCGN compost deliveries to community garden build outs, and compost distribution days. Joining the PCGN gives you access to a variety of benefits, including free RIRRC compost! And that’s not all – just recently, the RIRRC compost was certfied USDA organic by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM)! Hooray!
RIRRC offers their finished “class A” compost to be picked up for $30/cubic yard and can be paid for with cash, check, or credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Amex, and Discover). RIRRC will load the material for you; however you will need to bring your own vehicle (preferably a pick up truck or an open-top trailer). The minimum load is a half (1/2) yard of compost. Visit their site for more info.
March 6, 2012
Click images to enlarge. Visit the SCLT Plant Providence website for more information about workshops and changes to the 2012 workshop costs.
SCLT is pleased to debut the 2012 Plant Providence calendar. Workshop dates, times, and locations are subject to change, so keep checking back for up-to-date information.
Register at least 24 hours before the workshops are scheduled. We hope to see you at the workshops!
March 5, 2012
It was a swell time at Saturday’s Urban Agriculture Spring Kickoff! Over 400 people came out to celebrate the upcoming planting season and support SCLT’s Providence Community Growers Network. Seeds were swapped, garden secrets were traded, and workshops empowered folks with food growing knowledge! We wanted to give a huge thanks to our volunteers and workshop instructors who generously gave their valuable time and knowledge to our event. Now without further ado, here is a photo slideshow that captures the excitement and fun from the kickoff.
Want to join or learn more about the Providence Community Growers Network and how you can get free compost? Click here. Stay tuned for updates to upcoming events and workshops!
March 1, 2012
If you missed the SCLT workshop on seed starting and growboxes, City Farm Steward Rich Pederson will be leading a workshop on the subject at THIS SATURDAY’S Urban Agriculture Spring Kickoff. Come join us for this workshop and many other fun food-growing activities (silent auction, crafts, cooking demos) from 1-4pm at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center (it’ll be nice and warm in there!).
And of course, you can learn about seed starting and other food-growing topics on the SCLT Urban Agriculture Resource Library.