Wednesday evening’s Harvesting Hope was a special night for SCLT, food growers, urban ag enthusiasts and the greater community of Providence. Brought together by a shared passion for helping people grow their own food, we toasted to a deeper commitment to grow food everywhere in the city.
Against the cool backdrop of the Steel Yard, we congregated and celebrated with the most delicious hors d’euvres, prepared by five of Rhode Islands favorite food trucks–Acacia Cafe, Chez Pascal’s Hewtin’s Dogs, Like No Udder, Mijos Tacos and Rocket Fine Street Food, and beverages from Bottles and Revival Brewing. The event also had a signature cocktail. Matt and Kate Jennings of Farmstead mixed us a zesty concoction of bourbon, Barden Family Orchard Cider, sweet vermouth and an autumnal blend of spices. We called it, “The Southside Stinger”.
The main program of the evening featured a formal introduction of SCLT’s new Executive Director, Margaret DeVos, to the Providence community of urban agriculture. Through her inspirational words, Margaret revved up our spirits, getting us even more excited about the many possibilities of our city growing its own food and feeding itself. Following Margaret’s remarks, we held a “Build a Garden” fundraiser. Thanks to the generous support of our donors and friends, we raised a total of $33,800 for helping more people of greater Providence grow their own food!
As guests mingled and dined, they also “shopped” at the in-house (or, should we say in-tent?) farmer’s market stocked by four SCLT community gardeners and members of the Providence Community Growers Network! Our community growers, Chia Xiong, Ploua Khang, Marie Uwera and Garmai Mawolo, provided a beautiful and abundant array of fresh produce, demonstrating both their growing expertise and the possibilities of urban growing. Guests were each treated to two tickets with which they could “purchase” the fresh produce.
First Lady Stephanie Chafee, who attended the event as a member of the Honorary Committee, shared her thoughts about the impact of SCLT’s work out in the community:
“The Southside Community Land Trust operates upon a basic, fundamental belief: that everyone needs access to healthy food. And through providing land, education, and other resources to the people of Greater Providence, SCLT has helped more than 800 families gain access to more than 40 working community gardens and urban farms. And that’s not to mention the many Rhode Islanders – including young people – who have undergone education and training on how to effectively grow their own food. I am proud to support the important work of this outstanding organization.”
Harvesting Hope 2012 was definitely an evening to remember. Many thanks again to our generous donors, sponsors and friends for your support. Here’s to growing food everywhere in Providence!
Check out the slideshow below for some pictures of the event.