Archive for October, 2012

October 24, 2012

Community Growers Glean and Give

We are pleased to announce that this fall’s pilot Glean & Give initiative was a success! On Monday, October 22nd, we had a number of community growers drop off their end-of-the-year garden surplus at the SCLT office. From herbs and cooking greens to some more exotic vegetables, including chayote–a prickly gourd–and cardoons–a vegetable that resembles the artichoke, community growers donated over 100 pounds of produce for Crossroads RI to use in the meals for the 150 men, women and children the organization serves everyday.

Many thanks to everyone who donated and participated in this wonderful initiative!

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October 23, 2012

Vote YES on Question 6

On November 6th you will have the opportunity to show the state of Rhode Island your support for the protection of working farms and open green space. Question 6, formally titled the Rhode Island Environmental Management Bond Question, addresses the allocation of funds for environmental and recreational purposes. The approval of Question 6 would allow the state of Rhode Island to issue a total of $20 million for six different purposes, two of which have an impact on our local food growers. Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Protecting Farm Land………………………………………………………………..$4.5 million
  2. Protecting Open Space
    • State Land Acquisition……………………………………………………………..$2.5 million
    • Local Land Acquisition…………………………………………………………….$2.5 million
  3. Improving and Creating Municipal Parks & Restoring Historical Parks
    • Local Recreation Grants……………………………………………………………$5.5 million
    • Historic Parks………………………………………………………………………..$1 million
  4. Protecting Water Quality & Restoring Narragansett Bay………………………$4.0 million

The two key purposes that would significantly support food growers in RI are the Protection of Farm Land and Local Land Acquisition. Presently, only 1/4 of RI’s farmland is protected. If approved,$4.5 million will help fund RI’s program to maintain and expand agriculture in the state through the protection of productive farmland.

Second, if approved, $2.5 million in matching grants will be available to municipalities, land trusts (like SCLT!) and other environmental non-profit organizations to help preserve open space for water protection, wildlife habitat, farms, forests, scenic vistas and community character.

Question 6 has the potential to significantly support food growers through RI. It’s up to you to approve it!

Want more details? Check out the Rhode Island Land Trust Council’s comprehensive fact sheet.

October 19, 2012

Harvesting Hope 2012

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.

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October 18, 2012

Last night’s Harvesting Hope was a special evening for SCLT, food growers, urban ag enthusiasts and the greater community of Providence. More pictures and details to come, but, for now, here’s the inspirational film that was screened last night at the event! Many thanks to the very talented filmmaker, Casey Coleman.

October 12, 2012

Davey Lopes adds seven more beds!

This morning, a hardworking crew of community members and SCLT staff came together to build seven more raised beds for the Davey Lopes Recreation Center. Despite the overcast skies and steady rain, we cranked out seven beds in under two hours!

The Davey Lopes Community Garden was started in the summer of 2009 with 13 beds. After today’s buildout, the community garden will have a whopping total of 20 beds, allowing even more people to have access to fresh, healthy food. The Davey Lopes Rec Center’s enthusiasm and passion for encouraging and giving community members the chance to grow their own food is truly inspiring.

Check out some stills of this morning’s buildout!

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October 9, 2012

Glean and Give this Fall!

Getting tired of all that zucchini and summer squash? Don’t have any plans for the last of your tomatoes still on the vine? Here’s a wonderful opportunity to donate your unwanted garden surplus to a good cause! This Fall, SCLT is partnering with Crossroads RI and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank–two organizations committed to providing healthy food for the neediest Rhode Islanders–in a new initiative we’re calling GLEAN AND GIVE. Here’s how it works:

  1. Harvest any fresh produce that you are willing to donate*
  2. Bring your gleaned produce to SCLT’s Office (109 Somerset St.) between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Monday, October 15th OR Monday, October 22nd.
  3. We’ll donate all of the gleaned produce to Crossroads RI who will then use it to help provide hot meals for the 150 homeless men, women and children the organization feeds every day

SCLT is excited to be collaborating with Crossroads RI and the Food Bank in both reviving the old agricultural tradition of gleaning–the final harvest of leftover crops–and promoting the food security of Rhode Islander’s. For more info., contact Cindy at cindy@southsideclt.org or 273-9419 ext. 30.

*All produce is welcome (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, herbs, cooking greens, etc). Produce can have blemishes and nicks but should not be rotting in any way. Think of it this way: if it’s something you would harvest to eat yourself, then it’s acceptable to donate!

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Here’s some more info. about one of our partners, Crossroads RI:

“The mission of Crossroads Rhode Island is to assist the homeless and disconnected on their journey toward a better quality of life. We do this by providing a continuum of care that includes basic emergency needs, shelter, housing, case management and vocational services for individuals and families. The dining program provides healthy, appetizing and respectful meals for homeless shelter residents (Crossroads Women’s Shelter, First Step Shelter) and housed clients residing in the Crossroads’ Tower units. It aims to promote wellness and healing to participants and to empower them to pursue healthy lifestyles, engage in purposeful activities and community life, and achieve long-term housing stability. The dining program is committed to using fresh, local, and/or minimally processed foods whenever possible.”–Dave Rocheleau, Chef Manager at Crossroads RI

Check out the slideshow below to get a better sense of how Crossroads RI can turn your excess tomatoes into some delicious, hearty tomato sauce for Rhode Island’s neediest! (Photos courtesy of Dave Rocheleau)

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