Archive for ‘Community Gardens’

October 21, 2014


Putting your garden to bed?  We’ve got suggestions (and supplies).  Let us help.

It’s fall, time to prep your gardens not just for winter but for the 2015 growing season.


Here is what you need:

GARLIC, it’s time to plant and we’ve got it for sale, $4/head or $14/pound.

Also we are offering a garlic workshop. Click here to register and for information.

FERTILIZER, because you can’t grow if you don’t have it. We’ve got fish emulsion for $7/16oz. 

MULCH, you’ve got to keep the chill off those gardens. We don’t sell it, but we’ll tell you where to get it.

See below for more information about garlic, fertilizer, and mulch, including helpful tips.  Or, if you know what you want, email by October 28 with how much garlic and fish emulsion you want, and we’ll let you know when it’s ready to pick up.



Garlic is the best. Easy to plant, low maintenance, delicious, and you can harvest it twice. The scapes make wonderful stir-fries and pesto in the spring and the bulbs can be harvested in July and eaten fresh or cured to use through rest of the year. Each clove of garlic planted will yield one full head. Between now and early to mid-December is the right time to plant, although right around Halloween is certainly the most popular planting time.

Southside Community Land Trust is offering garlic to members for $4/head or $14/pound.

Confused about how to plant garlic? No worries, two wonderful, committed, and very experienced growers, Fay Strongin and Kate Lacouture, will be offering a garlic workshop at Father Lennon Park in Smith Hill on Saturday, November 1 at 12:00 noonClick here for more details and to register.



There are plenty of great ways to fertilize your soil without resorting to industrial chemicals.

Southside Community Land Trust is offering Fish Emulsion for $7/16oz bottle.

Sourced from New Bedford, this is potent stuff. An ounce or two mixed into a gallon of water and spread on your plants will ensure you a bountiful harvest year round, but get it now for a late season boost. Likewise, you’ll want to have some on hand when your garlic starts to sprout in the early spring.

Other options for fall fertilizing include mixing compost into your fallow beds, even chicken manure, available at nearby Baffoni’s Poultry Farm. Too “hot” to use directly on planted beds, the winter will give the chicken manure a chance to break down.



If you are going to plant garlic, you are going to want mulch to keep it safe from extreme temperatures through the winter, and to protect the tender shoots in the spring.  One option is hay or straw, easily available from our friends at Cluck!, or from many local farms and agriculture stores.

At City Farm we like to use leaves in the fall.  Not only are leaves often available for free, they encourage worm activity, which helps make for healthy, nutrient rich soil.  We just turn them back into the soil a few weeks before planting in the spring.  Our soil is great, and yours can be too.

We hope that you have a lovely fall, and great success in putting your gardens to bed. We want to help.  If you are interested in purchasing garlic or fish emulsion please email and let us know which item you would like and how much.

The deadline to pre-order items is TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28.
We will inform you when your order will be ready to pick up.




May 27, 2014

SCLT is seeking a Community Growers Director


Community Growers Director – Job Description

Organization Description: Community Land Trust (SCLT) provides access to land, education and other resources so people in Greater Providence can grow food in environmentally sustainable ways and create community food systems where locally produced, affordable, and healthy food is available to all. Each year, over 2,500 people benefit from SCLT’s programs which include community gardens, youth employment and education, garden leadership training, food growing and nutrition workshops, and new farmer development.

Position Summary: The Community Growers Director is responsible for planning and coordination of all community grower programming including management and development of new community gardens; facilitating the Providence Market Growers Network; coordinating SCLT’s seasonal workshop schedule and urban agriculture Neighborhood Hub sites; and various seasonal programs and events. This position will report to SCLT’s Executive Director.

Job Duties:

Manage existing and develop new community gardens;

  • Facilitate Providence Community Grower’s Council – an advisory body for SCLT’s community gardens programming.
  • Resource Distribution – compost, seeds, fish emulsion, garlic, manure, mulch.
  • Oversee garden leader leadership development – promote, facilitate and document garden leader meetings and supporting leaders to deal with garden management issues and conflict resolution.
  • Oversee garden maintenance contract and gardener maintenance activities.
  • Manage plot assignment and payment process including records maintenance.
  • Project Management for garden infrastructure improvements and new garden construction.   Oversee construction contractor, new gardener participation, and volunteers. Includes gardener recruitment.
  • Provide technical assistance/workshops/site visits for other organizations working to build new gardens.

Facilitate the Providence Market Growers Network;

  • Schedule, facilitate and document meetings with Providence Market Growers Network.
  • Arrange for technical assistance for farmers.
  • Oversight of all SCLT urban farm leases – ensure adequate maintenance and arrange for technical assistance as needed.
  • Manage development of marketing curriculum. Recruit participants and oversee SCLT staff or contractors responsible for in-classroom and on-site farmers market training.

Coordinating SCLT’s seasonal workshop schedule;

  • Work closely with Outreach Manager ensure that all new gardeners have sufficient access to beginning organic growing and other workshops.
  • Recruit and schedule volunteer workshop leaders.

Coordination of SCLT’s urban agriculture Neighborhood Hub sites;

  • Coordinate Spring Hub Day at 4 sites – scheduling workshops and resource distribution.
  • Work with 4 HUB leaders to develop and implement outreach strategies. Identify and make arrangements to meet unique community resource and education needs.

Other programs and events;

  • Coordinate Urban Agriculture Spring Kick-Off.
  • Provide technical assistance and oversight to Providence Composts program.
  • Track and report program outcome data.
  • Support fundraising efforts as needed.
  • Represent SCLT at educational and other events.
  • Perform other tasks as required.

Job Requirements:  This position requiresweekend and evening availability.   This position requires the physical ability to move/lift heavy objects, to kneel/sit/bend on the ground, and work outdoors in hot or cold weather.

Schedule: 40 hours per week (full-time).

Qualifications, Skills, Experience Requirements:

  • 5-8 years professional work experience.
  • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree in related field.
  • Experience working in multi-cultural, multi-lingual settings.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a team member.
  • Experience leading urban agriculture programs.
  • Experience in community organizing, leadership development and community development.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills – ability to make compelling written and verbal presentations.
  • Strong computer skills: Microsoft Word, Excel and email.
  • Ability to attend to details while maintaining a broad vision.
  • Interested in continuously improving programs and work processes.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize multiple work tasks and meet deadlines.
  • Committed to producing an excellent work product.
  • Dedicated to maintaining a positive culture among co-workers and community members.

The Community Growers Director must positively and professionally represent SCLT in community collaborations and with many of our constituents and partners. The successful applicant will be inspired by the work, interested in serving the public, motivated to go the extra mile, and respectful of different points of view.

Minority and bilingual applicants are strongly encouraged. Salary is $38,000-$46,000 annually based on experience, with full benefits and generous vacation package. SCLT is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply, please address cover letter and resume by Friday, June 13, 2014 to Margaret DeVos, SCLT Executive Director, at Preferred start date is July 14, 2014.

August 27, 2013

Blackstone Boulevard Farms – Blueberries!

All photo credits: Shana SantowBBFarmSign 1

On the East Side of Providence, there is a beautiful community garden, an example of the increasing demand for local food.

Blackstone Boulevard Farms is located just south of Rochambeau Avenue. The Farm is an oasis of raised beds, fruit trees, berry bushes, and plenty of bees. A variety of local chefs, community members, and food-growers collaborate to create a bounty of fruits and vegetables.BBFarmBees

On a recent visit, we saw a small, but hardy crop of blueberries, well protected from hungry birds. These plants are easy to grow and produce berries full of nutrients, low in calories, and are a great source of fiber.


While you are eating your last bites of yummy blueberry crumble and pie, now is the perfect time for you to start planning for your spring planting. Blueberries require little space and highly acidic soil. A quick test of your soil and creating enough space will determine how well your berries grow.

For more information about how to test your soil click here.

For more information about the health benefits of blueberries and best conditions for growth, click here.

As for Blackstone Boulevard Farms, it is an inspirational example of the community gardening occurring all over Providence. 


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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August 1, 2012

Growing a Food Pantry Garden

The newly built beds at Gospel Tabernacle Outreach Ministries will grow fresh food for its food pantry clients and will hopefully serve as a model for other food pantry and food bank sites in cities like Providence.

Southside Community Land Trust is excited to welcome a new community garden into its garden network – the Gospel Tabernacle Outreach Ministry (GTOM) garden. The GTOM community garden is the first of its kind in Providence and hopes to be a replicable model for other food pantries and food banks on a small urban scale. This garden was possible thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and SCLT’s Providence Community Growers Network (PCGN).

Initially sparked by the popularity of a community gardening workshop at the RICFB, Loni McGrath, Agency Services Coordinator, reached out to SCLT to target Providence food pantries interested in creating a unique type of community garden at their sites. The RI Community Food Bank sponsored the GTOM garden to join the PCGN, enabling them to receive free/discounted garden resources like compost and fish emulsion, as well as be a site to host food-growing workshops. And ultimately both organizations share the common goal of providing Providence residents access to healthy, fresh, locally grown food.

Why link community gardens with food banks? According to Food Security, “Community food security is such an approach that many food banks and other groups have implemented [because] the value of incorporating community food security measures …can increase [the food bank’s] capacity to address multiple needs and problems and provide a valuable tool for community building that fosters self-reliance…It also creates a wealth of opportunity to implement innovative solutions that address the root causes of hunger and move people out of poverty. Embodying these practices into a food banking operation establishes a more dynamic system that fosters social change and directly challenges dependence.”

Although the food pantry- community garden model is a popular and sensible idea, it hasn’t taken firm root in Providence. However, the opportunity is promising — the potential foods grown at the food pantry gardens can supply the food pantry and/ or meal site. Volunteers and food pantry clients can help with garden maintenance while learning about growing their own food.


Jennifer Watkins, the key coordinator in the GTOM garden effort, is excited for the impact the garden will have on its food panty and soup kitchen clients. “We want our clients to have access to growing their own food. This new garden allows them the space and community building opportunities for that,” says Watkins. The GTOM garden is growing radishes, lettuce, carrots, green beans, thai hot peppers, and tomatoes. Watkins hopes to see not only the GTOMgarden grow, but for other food pantries in Providence to start growing gardens and fresh food for their clients as well. We look forward to the bounty that lies ahead!

The GTOM is located on 145 Oakland Avenue. They hold their food pantry on the second Monday of the month at 5:30-7pm and the fourth Monday of the month at 6-7pm. Their meal site, or soup kitchen, is held on the second and fourth Saturday of the month at 3-4pm. Contact Lenny or Jennifer Watkins (401)454-0988 for more information.

June 12, 2012

Applegate Community Garden build-out wrap up

“Can we do it?” Liza Sutton, SCLT Community Growers Director asks as she cheers on the group of volunteers and staff, “Can we finish the build-out by this afternoon? I think we can!”

The rain that hindered most of last week’s build-out progress was no damper on the dedication, motivation, and support from volunteers and staff to complete (even a little early!) the 40-plot Applegate Community Garden on its Friday afternoon goal. Thanks to everyone — our helpers from a nearby elementary school, neighbors, high school students and staff — Applegate Community Garden is now a fertile community space ready for growing potential! Interested in community gardens? Want to volunteer at the next build-out in the Fall? Contact SCLT Growers Network Director Liza Sutton at liza[at]

Check out the slideshow of the last day (if the slideshow is going too fast, click the ‘stop’ button on the slideshow and click the ‘next’ arrows on your own pace)

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May 25, 2012

More gardens, more food, more community!

*correction: the Applegate Garden will have 40 plots, not the 30 as originally written.

SCLT is growing another garden! Yesterday was the start of the build-out for a 40-plot garden on Applegate Lane (off of Eddy Street). Building gardens is hard work, but not without having lots of fun (as evidenced in these pictures). In just one afternoon, neighbors, volunteers, and even a class of little helpers came out to support and build 7 raised beds. Only 23 beds to go!

The Applegate Garden is one of two gardens that will be built in the year 2012. Cheers to growing good food and healthy neighborhoods!

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April 23, 2012

Hooray for Neighborhood Hub Day!

Beautiful weather – check. A hard-working team at three locations (southside, Olneyville, West End) – check. A great turn out and lots of fun – check!! We couldn’t have been more thrilled about the success of SCLT’s Providence Community Growers Network Neighborhood Hub Day event. Neighbors at all three locations learned about growing food at a free Beginning Organic Growers workshop, and PCGN members picked up compost and seeds. We want to give a big thank you to our community partners – Davey Lopes Recreation Center, Groundwork Providence, Olneyville Housing Authority for helping it be an awesome event. Enjoy the pictures!

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April 10, 2012

Will Allen – A Visit Full of Food Growing Inspiration

SCLT was honored to host a visit from Will Allen, CEO and founder of Growing Power, on April 9th. The visit left us with a heaping dose of good food inspiration. SCLT had the privilege showing Will around community gardens and urban farms in the morning, followed by a lunch with local gardeners, farmers, and community members. We shared the stories of our work in Providence over the past 30 years, and discussed our continued vision of connecting people from all backgrounds through growing their own food.

Will’s sold-out lecture at Brown University about his work at Growing Power left the audience in awe of all the groundbreaking work him and his team are doing for sustainable agriculture and local food. Slide after slide captured the movement that reflects the strength and resilience of community by using food to bring people from all backgrounds, ages, and trades to work together.

“If there’s one thing I want you all to remember tonight is that it’s all about the soil,” said Will at the lecture. One impressive (and believe us, there were a lot of impressive points!) slide he showed us was the Growing Power hoop houses that were growing a bounty of salad greens and kale in the middle of the Milwaukee winter (made possible by the heat captured from piling compost on the outside perimeter of the hoop house).  His work with Growing Power (based in Milwaukee) is an amazing sustainable food empire that has influenced cities from all over the nation and even the world, engaging people with the question, “how can good food transform communities?”

The visit left us encouraged and inspired to continue growing the “Good Food Revolution” right on our home soils of Providence. Thank you to Will Allen, Lucas Foglia, Brown University, for making this incredible visit possible. Check out our slideshow for pictures of Will’s visit!

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April 5, 2012

Loads and Loads of Compost!

A healthy load of compost delivered to City Farm will give the soil a boost for a productive growing season!

Yesterday, 330 cubic yards of compost was delivered to 40 gardens in the Providence Community Growers Network. This hefty city-wide effort is a collaboration between Southside Community Land Trust, Rhode Island Resource Recovery Center (RIRRC), and the City of Providence.

The compost is certified organic, produced by RIRRC and thoroughly tested to ensure high organic matter content. SCLT wants only the best for our network community gardens! Gardeners will be able to use 1″ of compost for each of their garden plots. Compost is used best when turned into the soil and allowed to sit for at least two weeks, giving it time to amend the soil with nutrients, organic matter, and improve soil texture.

Want to get your hands on free compost? Join our Providence Community Growers Network and learn about how you can get compost and other fabulous food-growing benefits. You can also check out our Neighborhood Hub Day – Saturday, April 14th at these locations, to learn more about the PCGN, sign up to get free compost and seeds, and attend a free gardening workshop. We hope to see you there!

Davey Lopes Recreation Center 10am-1pm, 227 Dudley Street

Groundwork Providence Community Garden 10am-1pm, 14-18 Ring Street

Manton Avenue Community Garden 12pm-3pm, 40 Florence Street

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