I guess it’s better blog etiquette to announce you’re taking some time off before you do. Whoops. Back in touch soon with a report from New Orleans. THAT’S my excuse.
Lookit: standing outside the RISD store on the River-Side.
It’s an ongoing garden swap, kind of along the lines of those book/magazine racks outside T stops in Boston (Do these still exist?) Take some plants/seeds/garden equipment, and leave some plants/seeds/garden equipment in return.
I left some volunteer dill and violets and took some garden gloves. Wonder what will be there next?
Brown dog is provided for scale. See the bronze plaque hovering above the cabinet? That marks how high the flood waters reached following the 1938 hurricane.
Time to plant! Southside Community Land Trust’s plant sale and the Youth Pride plant sale are this weekend. Get your baby vegetables, raised with tender loving care, and assist some great causes, too.
Apologies to KISS…
Yesterday, I went to a meeting for Providence’s Urban Agriculture Task Force. Launched 4-5 years ago, it’s a confederation of state, local, non-profit, and individual representatives. Some of the projects initiated and/or completed by members include:
- installing new community gardens around the city, including sites at Sessions St. Park, Early St, Davis Park, Pearl St., Riverside Park, and more
- introducing urban agriculture in community planning meetings, the Mayor’s Green plan, and the Providence Comprehensive Plan
- launching a citywide Community Gardens Network
- developing strategies to integrate food gardens with affordable housing
- holding 50-mile meals at Mount Hope Farm, Local 121, and Providence College
- creating the RI Farm To School Project to connect local farms with school lunch programs
- planning an edible landscape (an orchard!) in Locust Grove Cemetery
- working with the RI Dept of Health and Statewide Planning to ensure that urban agriculture is in local comprehensive plans
- preparing a series of reports on Providence Urban Agriculture
Amazing projects in Providence and beyond. And more to come. If you want to get involved, contact the UATF via Southside Community Land Trust.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by Firehouse 13 last night for Green Zones: From the War Garden to Your Garden and the first-ever Urban Ag Spring Start Party.
The talks and discussion went over really well, and the seed-swapping table was hopping. I got a chance to connect with gardeners, historians, and gardening historians from all over.
A spring party was a great outlet for gardeners with seeds, plants, and stories to share. As RI’s food gardening network continues to grow, imagine another garden event this fall?!?!?!?!
All the vegetables are ready to rumble at Firehouse 13 (41 Central Street, Providence).
Start at 5:30pm with Green Zones: From the War Garden to Your Garden. Check out 3 presentations on past and present gardening movements, and join the discussion.
Then at 7:30pm, it’s the first-ever Urban Ag Spring Start Party. Seed-swapping, plant-swapping, sharing info about garden and green groups, meeting other gardeners, etc. It’s a potluck, so bring a dish…as well as your seeds and plants to share.
Let’s start the spring together!
The UAU (that’s Urban Agricultural Unit) recently moved to a new home on the grounds of Wolcott Eco-Office on Wolcott Street in Providence. Part large-scale recycling effort and part science fair project, the UAU is a mobile greenhouse constructed from a discarded shipping container. You may remember it from its appearances at ProvFlux or from its long-time residency at the Steelyard.
Plans are forming for the growing season at UAU’s new home. Perhaps some hops climbing up its corrugated metal walls and some native landscaping plants and some veggies and herbs growing inside. Word is that its hydroponic set-up allows you to grow basil from a seed to a plant the size of a kindergartner in four weeks.
I get a kick out of the fact that this giant shipping container–duly labeled, see below–is now the ultimate container garden.
If you would like to learn more about the UAU or would like to be part of the team that is planning its rebirth, contact Anna or stop by the Urban Ag Spring Start Party that’s part two of the Green Zones event on May 5. Thanks to the UAU crew for helping out with posters, posting, music, and more.
On Saturday (April 25), the RI Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission will host the Annual RI Statewide Historic Preservation Conference at the University of Rhode Island. This year’s event, “Preservation Steps Out,” will focus on preserving historic outdoor spaces, like farms, woodlands, conservation land, seashores, riverfronts, parks, village crossroads, and the like.
A lot of the day is devoted to issues relating to historic farms, from agritourism to farmers’ markets to barn preservation. I’m especially looking forward to the keynote speech by Steve Taylor, a dairy farmer and writer who formerly served as the Commissioner of Agriculture, Markets & Food for New Hampshire. His talk is called “Cows, Countryside, and Community: Can the Working Landscape of Rural New England Be Saved?” Today’s Providence Journal features Bill Van Siclen’s conversation with Taylor.
And many other local agriculture people and places will participate: farmer and Senator V. Susan Sosnowski, Ken Ayars (RI-DEM), Stu Nunnery (RICAPE), Pat McNiff (Casey Farm), Nancy Parker Wilson (Greenvale Vineyards), Jeffrey Farrell (Sunset Farm), and Jim Crothers (South County Museum), to name a few.
Through Green Zone and at RIHPHC, I’ve spent the past year learning about the local food/farm/garden/land communities. The historic preservation perspective is complementary but different; preservationists often see farms as historic places with historic buildings and outbuildings, fields, ponds, woodlots, and stone walls. Preserving a sense of place while working the landscape is the particular challenge of the New England farmer.
See you for tours, sessions, talks, and networking at URI on Saturday. The conference costs $40, and registration is available on-site. >>more info<<