City of Providence secures lease for one urban farmer!

Urban Farmer and friend of SCLT Than Wood shares a promising update about working with the city to secure a new plot of land to continue farming in Providence:



Two months ago I wrote you all asking for your help. As you know, I was being kicked out of Front Step Farm on Westminster St. Because of everyone writing to the City we managed to prevent the Non-Profit who was giving me the boot from receiving public funding to do so. The non-profit also agreed to give me 60 days to get out. That was a really nice victory, and this entire experience has had the amazing result of putting me in touch with several people in the City of Providence government who have been incredibly supportive of Front Step Farm, and urban agriculture in general.

So today I am writing again with great news! I have a lease with the city on a new property only a few blocks from Front Step Farm. I am extremely relieved, and excited and hopeful about this new arrangement. Aside from the security of the lease, the city is viewing this as a pilot program on renting city owned property to urban farmers. That is huge, and should open the door to a more permanent and sustainable urban farm movement in Providence by providing access to land with security. I think there are only a handful of other cities in the U.S willing to work with Urban Farmers to do this.

The new farm will be named Front Step Farm as well, in case you were wondering (I already have the sign made after all).

The only downside to this: the new farm will be built on top of asphalt! Half of my old farm was as well, so I know how to handle this, and I have a game plan. But to get this farm up and running in time to salvage the season I need lots of help!

We will be transforming a parking lot into an urban farm in two weeks. I am writing to ask for some help of all kinds on the following dates, and am looking for help in 3 hour increments.

Sunday the 10th to prepare the new spot for the arrival of Compost. This will mean laying down woodchips and cleaning up debris. I am planning a work Day from 10:00 AM onwards..

~~~~Weds the 13th from 10:00 Onwards I will be moving compost and creating beds. I will need the most help with this. ~~~~~

Thursday the 14th from 10:00 onwards I will continue bed building (lots of work) and possibly transplant raspberry/ strawberry plants from the old site to the new one.

Sunday the 17th  from 10:00 onwards I will finish moving supplies from the old site to the new one, and hopefully begin seeding the established beds. I could use a lot of help on this day as well, since I will be dumping all the soil from my old farm into the new one on saturday.

I can’t plan any farther ahead than that right now! Please let me know if/when you could give a hand so I can plan accordingly. If none of these times work, but you still want to help build a farm just let me know. Really, I’ll need help every day. In the coming weeks I will still need a lot of hands to pull this off. Feel free to forward this or post it to anyone else who may be interested in helping. It is really important you let me know you are coming in case anything changes.

Please bring a snack and water! Also, shovels if you have them, and wheel barrows. I’ve got some tools but could certainly use others. Fellow Farmers: if anyone can help me during those dates I certainly could use your expertise with volunteers seeding and building beds.  Oh! If anyone wants to bake some treats I wouldn’t be opposed! You will be repaid in vegetables.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to get started! Grow Forth Providence.


Than Wood



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: