Posts tagged ‘guerilla gardening’

Happy birthdays!

090704tires It’s the birthday of the USA, and it’s one year since I launched the Green Zone website.

090704cornfield090704cornwall090704mlkschoolgardenWhat a difference a year makes. We have a new president, and there’s a thriving vegetable garden on the grounds of the White House.

New gardens are sprouting everywhere! A brand-new community garden in Davis Park, a new garden in the works for the Davey Lopes Rec Center in South Providence, and a bunch of new school gardens here and there. And so many first-time backyard growers, too.

In the Summit neighborhood, there are flowerboxes full of vegetables on porches, and so many people have dug up their front lawns to plant ornamentals or grow their own food.

I spied this brand new neighborhood garden in Mt. Hope (3 top photos). Neighbors have taken over an empty lot. Guerrilla gardeners? Dig the ankle high dry-laid stone wall and the badminton court, not to mention the used-tire composter. And not far away is the MLK School Garden, which looks on target to harvest A LOT of delicious vegetables.

On this Independence Day, get independent.  In a pot or in a plot, grow your own food.

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July 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm Leave a comment

Unlikely agriculture

A couple weeks ago, Joe posted the following comment on the blog: FYI: I wanted to point you towards some urban gardening in the most unlikely of places – The Providence 903 at Jefferson Place. If you go down Kinsley towards downtown & just past the main entrance, you’ll notice a pumpkin patch nestled within the standard urban landscape. I have no idea who planted it there, but when running the other day, I noticed the disimilar plantings. Upon further investigation, I noticed a large pumpkin growing beyond. If you’re in the area, check it out.

I finally got over to where Merchants Cold Storage and Silvertop Diner used to be, aka the building urbanists love to hate. Indeed, thar be cucurbits! Pumpkin? Squash? Something was creeping along the sidewalks. Next we need to grow fruit and produce across the street from the 903 where the Providence Fruit & Produce Warehouse used to be.

Over in Fox Point, I sought out the urban agriculture I used to see ca. 2000-02 on Transit Street, between Hope and Brook. One house had squash vines growing out of second-story flower boxes down to the first story. Another backyard was a fava bean farm, tended by a Portuguese old-timer. Unfortunately, there were no squash vines, and the fava farm was totally grown over.

Happily, a thin row of onion plants had survived and some had leapt the chainlink fence and planted themselves in the parking lot. Sometimes humans manage to humanize the urban landscape by growing food and flowers. Other times, we might as well leave the plants in charge.

September 13, 2008 at 11:30 am 3 comments

Gardening at night in the Green Zone

A quick flash of the downtown bok choi garden at night. See the parking lot stripe? This is truly reclaimed space!

Another after-dark visit to water Green Zone. What happened to our wet Rhode Island summer? Anyway, it’s hard to fuss over the garden when I can barely see it. I can catch some stray morning glory tendrils, but I can’t tell brown leaves from green. I can feel how dry the soil is and water, water, water, but I can’t see what the bugs are chewing.

I was surprised to find a bicycle behind a green wall of bean and gourd leaves. Barely noticed it until I got up close. Good thing I brought my seeing-eye dog to keep me company in the dark. 

September 3, 2008 at 9:31 pm 3 comments

Gardening at night: the bok choi edition

On my way to Green Zone this evening, I got a glimpse of what looked like a guy tending a vegetable garden at the edge of a Downtown Providence parking lot. On my way home, I stopped at his plot. He was watering rows of leafy veg with a tray and a pickle bucket full of water. I chatted with him, though there was a bit of a language barrier. He said he was growing bok choi and scallions for himself and a friend.

I’ll have to go back during the day to check out his crop, but it looked happy and healthy. How many times have I passed by and not even noticed the bok choi farm?!?! I’ll post a photo in the future. Hats off to this guerilla gardener!

And I had no idea R.E.M.’s “Gardening at Night” was all about this.

September 1, 2008 at 7:56 pm 1 comment


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