Archive for ‘Compost’

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

June 20, 2011

Bug Book Now Online!

Uh-oh. This doesn't look good.

You planned to share the fruits of your garden labors with others, but this wasn’t really what you had in mind. Your leaves look as though they’ve been through a war, one of your seedlings has been lopped off at the stem, and—HEY! Who ate my tomatoes!?

Yes, as we all know, the work doesn’t end when you get the plants in the ground; that’s when pest management begins! To find out what’s eating you (and your plants), consult our Bug Book. It’s available for free viewing online through the Urban Agriculture Resource Center on our website (look for “Controlling Pests” under “Growing Food”). There, you can pick your bug from a lineup of common troublemakers and find out how to fend them off using environmentally safe methods that will minimize harm to beneficial insects like ladybugs and praying mantises. The mug shot of the dastardly tomato hornworm is worth checking out alone—can you believe the size of that caterpillar?

In addition to pest control tips, the Urban Agriculture Resource Center has lots of other helpful information on growing food and videos that can show you how to test your soil, make a self-irrigating container, and compost your food scraps. We’re adding new content all the time! Take a tour and let us know what topics you’d like to see covered in the future.

April 22, 2011

Rooted in Community

On Saturday, we launched the pilot hub of the Providence Community Growers Network at the Davey Lopes Recreation Center in south Providence. The Growers Network is a new initiative designed to connect urban food-growers of all kinds and scales—community gardeners, home gardeners, market gardeners, and school gardens—to resources, skill-building opportunities, and one another.

Through the Network, gardeners throughout Providence will eventually be clustered around six organized neighborhood hubs. At the launch of the first hub here in our own neighborhood, fifty people from all across the city joined us for a free workshop introducing organic growing principles followed by the distribution of compost and seeds, giving them everything they needed to get started cultivating their own vegetables and herbs this year.

We were happy that so many new and experienced gardeners turned out and signed up to be part of the Network; it was truly inspiring to see all of them coming together around a shared commitment to homegrown, healthy food. We invite even more people to get involved by joining the Growers Network, coming to our 30th anniversary events and free and low-cost Plant Providence workshops, and becoming members of the Community Land Trust.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this slideshow of images from the event last weekend—images of neighbors helping to fill buckets of compost, comparing notes about different varieties of seeds, and sharing growing techniques. On this Earth Day, these photos really remind us about the impact of gardens: not only do they show us how we are linked to the soil, but to each other.

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April 8, 2011

Black Gold Strikes Providence

Providence is covered with a black substance made from decomposing organic material. No, it’s not an oil spill. We’re talking about 425 cubic yards of municipal compost, a.k.a. the Black Gold of Gardeners Everywhere. Beautiful, dark, carbon-rich compost made from municipal yard waste was delivered yesterday to 31 community gardens all over the city! This massive distribution program was the result of a collaboration between the Community Land Trust’s newly launched Providence Community Growers Network, the City of Providence’s Parks and Recreation Department, and Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, and the support of hundreds of Community Land Trust members, donors, and volunteers. Check out a few of our photos below:

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This weekend, as you are out about town, keep an eye out for your neighborhood community gardens. Across the city, over 750 families will be adding that compost to their wintered garden beds to start growing full-speed for the season ahead.

Are you a home gardener or school gardener wanting to get in on the Black Gold delivery? The Community Land Trust is having its first HUB compost delivery day on Saturday, April 16th at the Davey Lopes Recreation Center at 227 Dudley Street following the first Beginning Organic Growers Series workshop on Planning and Planting. Sign up to be part of the Providence Community Growers Network and pick up your compost on the 16th. More details on the Providence Community Growers Network are available by contacting Liza Sutton at

March 23, 2011

Rhode Island Digs Compost!

Image from

Yesterday’s compost conference at RISD’s Chace Center was a resounding success, demonstrating the broad base of support that exists across the state for municipal composting of organic food scraps. The challenge now is to make it cost-effective and to forge the necessary collaborative partnerships. We are proud to be involved with this initiative, and we would like to commend Greg Gerritt of ECRI for taking the lead in organizing this inspiring conference.

For a good recap of the event, check out ecoRI’s coverage. You can also download a copy of Greg’s remarks by clicking here.

March 10, 2011

From Trash to Treasure: Compost Conference March 22nd

Erika Rumbley, SCLT's Community Gardens Network Coordinator (left) and Rich Pederson, SCLT's City Farm steward (right), recently met with representatives from Rhode Island Resource Recovery and AgResource to examine their compost.

Many cities across the country have implemented municipal composting programs to divert food waste from overburdened landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By composting organic material, we can accomplish these goals and at the same time produce high-quality fertilizer that improves soil health and productivity.

With a Community Food Project grant from the USDA, Southside Community Land Trust has been supporting a compost initiative in Providence spearheaded by Greg Gerritt of The Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI). Our Community Gardens Network Coordinator Erika Rumbley has also been sourcing a supply of compost generated from collected yard waste by Rhode Island Resource Recovery for community gardens and members of the Providence Community Growers Network (right).

Now, we are proud to be partnering with ECRI,, and RISD to put together a conference to explore ways to institute a large-scale composting system for food scraps in the state. It will be held Tuesday, March 22nd from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Metcalf Auditorium in the Chace Center at RISD (20 N. Main St.); to register, click here. The conference will bring together state and local officials with representatives from industry, institutions, non-profits, and the hospitality sector. Anyone with a stake or an interest in composting in Rhode Island is invited and encouraged to attend.

Confirmed speakers at the conference include Angel Taveras, mayor of Providence; Michael O’Connell, executive director of Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation; Janet Coit, Director of the Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management; Michael Merner, owner of Earthcare Farm; Reese Howell, president of Orbit Energy Inc.; and Michael Bradlee, vice president of Ecotope.

To read more about the conference and municipal composting, see these related stories from The Providence Journal and ecoRI or this comprehensive white paper developed by Greg.

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