Archive for ‘Neighborhood’

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 8, 2012

Join Us for Open Garden Day!

Providence, how do your gardens grow? You can find out that and more at Southside Community Land Trust’s 4th annual Open Garden Day  on Saturday, September 8th (raindate September 9th) from 10am-2pm.

This family-friendly event starts off by featuring Providence’s rich history of urban gardening as well as the on-going movement of food-growing in the city. The tours will run from 10am-1pm at community food gardens and urban farms in several Providence neighborhoods, followed by a 1-2pm celebration of garden-fresh potluck dishes prepared by Providence’s most beloved community growers.

You can choose three different and unique tour options – a bike tour, a bus tour, and a special historic tour guided by local historian Sarah Zurier. Each tour route will feature educational programming, such as a workshop or demo. Which urban gardens will each tour route visit?

Historic Tour: Roger Williams Park (RWP) Community Garden, Southside drive-bys via Broad Street & Prairie Ave., Potters Avenue Community Garden, Lincoln School Garden, Searle Family Gardens

Bus Tour: sites including RWP, Searle Family Gardens, Groundwork Providence Public Garden, Sidewalk Ends Farm, Potters Ave, Sidewalk Ends Farm, drive-bys on the Southside and Eastside

Bike Tour: routes may include sites such as RWP, Potters Avenue Community Garden, Grove Street Community Garden, Sidewalk Ends Farm with 3 experienced bike guides on each route.

And don’t forget the food! At the end of the tour, there will be a Harvest Potluck from 1pm – 2pm at Roger Williams Park Community Garden. This event is open to all and will be a great opportunity to enjoy a delicious garden-fresh meal prepared by local chefs.

Tickets are limited, so please pre-register and purchase here. We hope to see you there!!

June 6, 2012

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


March 29, 2012

Getting our gardens ready!

Can you believe the year is already 1/4 way done? Not to mention it’s about that time to start prepping your gardens! Lucky for us, yesterday’s drizzle let up just in time for our SCLT staff garden workday! We donned our garden gloves and took out our other gardening gear from their winter’s hiatus and spiffed up our side-yard garden. Some staff have already started seedlings inside. Hardy greens like kale and broccoli and root veggies can start to be seeded directly outside as well.

Leo turns over cover crop that we planted in October. Cover crop is a mix of grasses (we planted Winter Rye) that's turned over a couple weeks before planting, adding nitrogen back into the soil.

We got a lovely donation of compost from a community member who composts from her backyard. Compost is full of nutrient-rich organic matter – this means healthy soil and happy vegetables and plants!

This is Brock, our newest staff person! Brock is about to incorporate compost (that rich, dark, pile you see on the left), into his garden plot!

Need resources and tips for starting your garden? Visit the SCLT Urban Agriculture Resource Center or attend one of our Plant Providence workshops (next ones are Cultivating Perennials on March 31st and Soil Health and Remediation on April 7th). Happy Planting!

November 9, 2011

Building the possibilities

We did it! With much perseverance and the help of our invaluable volunteers, the Potters Ave. Community Garden expansion was completed yesterday. It all started from a tree by the old garden that was damaged from a storm in June to have us ask the question, “Why not?” when the idea presented itself to turn the undeveloped area into a space to grow more food. “Community folks, neighbors and even students participated in the building of this garden. At the end of the last day, nobody wanted to leave because it was such a lovely experience and we grew so close as a team. We’re all excited for the possibilities of what this will bring to families in the spring,” said Liza Sutton, SCLT Community Growers Network Director. 29 new raised garden beds were built from this garden expansion effort, giving even more area families the opportunity to grow fresh, healthy food.

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SCLT wants to give a big thank you to Mel and Connie Carter for being generous hosts in letting us transform the space. For more great stories about the effort being made to provide families access to growing their own food, read about the Greenwich Street Garden that was built this summer.

October 27, 2011

Squashing the competition

Last Saturday’s Biggest Squash contest was squasheriffic! Check out some of our pictures in the slideshow. Our winner weighed in at an impressive 22 pounds! Thanks to all the community growers that came out to celebrate this wonderful fall vegetable.

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September 29, 2011

Volunteers Needed: Get Your Hands a Little Dirty!

Fabulous volunteers at this year's Greenwich St. garden build-out

Are you interested in gardening? Community building? Do you want to meet other like-minded people while making Providence a greener place? Join SCLT in a Community Garden Build Out to expand the Potters Ave. Community Garden.  This project will provide the surrounding Providence community access to garden plots/land, where they can grow fresh, healthy food to feed their families. As a volunteer, you are an essential partner in creating community food systems where locally produced, affordable, and healthy food is available to all.

Who: Southside Community Land Trust is looking for 30 volunteers to help build a community garden in Providence. All are welcome! We are looking for 4 solid volunteers to help Oct. 11 and then additional 10 volunteers from Oct 12-14 and possibly extending into the following week. SCLT is providing lunch!!

What: As a volunteer, you will need to commit a minimum of 4 hours, be able to lift heavy items (such as lumber and soil) and be a team player. Gardening and/or carpentry experience is a plus!

When: Tuesday, October 11 through Friday, October 14 from 10:30am to 2:30pm.

Where: Community Garden & Park near intersection of Prairie and Potters Avenues, Providence, RI. 02905

How: Contact us! Let us know which days and for how long at time. or call 401.273.9419 ext. 25 or call 401.273.9419 ext. 30

September 21, 2011

More than a Garden Tour

This past Saturday morning (just two days after our fabulous Harvest Party, phew!) was all sunshine and smiles  as over 40 people gathered to learn about the diversity of community gardens in Providence. The group toured 4 community gardens – Davey Lopes, Glenham, Cadillac Drive and Roger Williams Park – to hear from the people who gave their time and energy to building these thriving food-growing hubs, and each garden’s rich history, fertile present and future.

Davey Lopes Community Gardens is one of the first models in the nation to be a recreational center with an active community garden. Mr. Taylor, Sterling and George all shared the sentiment of how successful the garden has been with the community, especially with the youth. Kids of all ages have really taken ownership in maintaining and giving life to the garden, as evidenced by the abundance of kid-grown grapes, flowers and tomatoes. The Glenham Garden is a high-intensity garden, where nearly every square foot is used for growing food primarily by Hmong and Liberian refugees. Cadillac Drive Community Garden is long-time project of recently deceased councilman Miguel Luna (on Saturday State Rep. Grace Diaz said a few words and had a moment of silence for Mr. Luna).

Though hosted by Southside Community Land Trust (SCLT), the Community Gardens Tour and Potluck was really a success thanks to the Community Growers Network – a group of community garden leaders, urban growers and proactive community members. The tour led up to a harvest potluck at the Roger Williams Park Community Garden – which turned out to be an impressive feast thanks to our talented and gracious friends in the community. People enjoyed dishes featuring garden-fresh ingredients like stewed sweet potato greens with chicken, summery tomato salad, home-made sushi with lots of fresh veggies, salads and so much more!

The event was truly a celebration of all the diversity and the beautiful relationships forged within the community. SCLT looks forward to more garden tours in the future, bringing people together from all walks of life in Providence to learn more about community gardens and growing food together!

September 9, 2011

City Fest Re-cap

Last month’s City Fest was an absolute hit! Close to 200 kids and adults attended the annual block party at City Farm, which celebrates the end of the summer Children’s Garden program. There was music and dancing, potato stamp making, double dutch, watermelon and popcorn eating, face painting and of course, the Big Nazo puppets.

Thank you again to everyone who joined us that day, and thank you to our sponsors–Citizens bank for donating new book and backpacks for the kids to start of a new school year!

Our video certainly captures the fun we had that afternoon!

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