Green Zone started as a garden, and became a blog, a research project, and a public presentation.

The Green Zone garden was an organic vegetable, herb, and flower garden installation located at Firehouse 13 in Providence, RI for summer 2008. Inspired, or perhaps provoked, by the fifth anniversary of the War in Iraq, it was planted in the detritus of wartime consumption: used tires, plastic shopping bags, and discarded shoes.

The Green Zone blog provides updates on the garden and related topics like wartime gardens, urban agriculture, Rhode Island gardens, and garden pop culture.

The Green Zone research project is exploring the history of Rhode Island’s wartime and hard-times gardens.

Thanks to the RI Council for the Humanities, there will be a public presentation of my research and other perspectives on wartime gardening and farming on Tuesday, May 5.  The event is called “Green Zones: From the War Garden to Your Garden.”

Green Zone was created by Sarah Zurier, an amateur gardener and professional historian who is interested in public landscapes in Rhode Island and beyond.


12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Emily Walter  |  July 17, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Hi Sarah,

    I’m fairly consumed with the concept of ‘victory’ gardening and it’s current relevance. My personal favorite green zone moment is the dill planted in the money printed shopping bag.

    I heard about your project simultaneously from Jarrett, the new assistant director at FH and Rachel, who heads up the Bridgham St Garden for the WBNA. I am organizing a potluck meet n greet for the gardeners and I’d like you to join. Send me an email for further details.


  • 2. kayemme  |  August 1, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    i love you and i mean it.

  • 3. Donna  |  September 4, 2008 at 3:25 am

    When the weather was really hot in Mississippi, I would do garden chores at night. I had plenty of outdoor light. Keep up the good work.

  • 4. emily  |  October 31, 2008 at 11:37 am

    I thought you’d be interested in this:


    It’s like the myspace or the facebook but for garden/ diy/ homesteading minded!!!

    Peace out!

  • 5. Elaine Weiss  |  December 4, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Hello Greenzone–
    Enjoyed your post awhile back on the Woman’s Land Army of America in WWI—and your readers might be interested in the first book written on the subject, which will be coming out this December,2008: Fruits of Victory: The Woman’s Land Army in the Great War by Elaine Weiss (that’s me!) published by Potomac Books. Using primary documents from around the country, it’s the first full chronicle of this most fascinating–and forgotten–effort to put “women on the land” to win the war and avert a world-wide famine. Lots of great posters and photographs, letters,even poems and songs. It also puts the movement in context of the early 20th century suffrage, reform and labor movements. You can visit fruitsofvictorybook.com or elaineweiss.com for more info. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble…etc. Let’s bring back ” the plucky farmerette”.

  • 7. clane hayward  |  December 28, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I’m seeking any information about using large recycled tires (tractor?) as raised gardening beds. This seems like it would be easy or at least possible but I’m not finding much on the web. Any resources or advice would be appreciated, thanks.

  • 8. David  |  January 18, 2009 at 8:37 am

    I found your site while poking around looking for information about workplace gardens. Home gardening has been a passion of mine since childhood.
    Hi Sarah,

    I have recently moved to Providence from Massachusetts. I would enjoy seeing your efforts at the firehouse. I am an MLA and have been in private practice for longer than I can remember. Providence and Rhode Island in general seem ripe for a revolution in self-sufficiency with gardening leading the way.

    Would love to discuss the local gardening scene with you.

    Be well.

  • 9. greenzonegarden  |  January 29, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Green Zone at FH13 is some dead plants under some snow at this point. I’m hoping the Fireheads will put in a bigger garden in 2009, but the GZ garden is past. I’m working on a presentation as the next phase of the Green Zone project…should be announcing a date soon and hope you can make it.

  • 10. frank@nycgarden  |  February 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    I’m interested in your focus on the victory garden, or the conflation of war and agriculture. What an interesting subject and probably full out insight into our world.

  • 11. Merri Marcehtti  |  February 11, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Hello, My name is Merri Marchetti and I am current student at Rhode Island College. I am doing a research paper about victory garden during WWI and was wondering if there was any primary source material related to RI? If anybody has any advice please, please e-mail. Thank you very much



    • 12. greenzonegarden  |  February 12, 2009 at 6:48 pm

      hey Merri-
      I’m contacting you via email. thanks for stopping by.
      Sarah (gz)


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