Did you know that SCLT helps make it possible for some of Providence’s best restaurants to offer dishes using the tastiest, locally grown ingredients? Every week during the growing season chefs place their orders for everything from bok choy, Swiss chard and herbs to edible flowers for their culinary creations thanks to Little City Growers co-op.
Volunteers, interns, apprentices and staff share camaraderie, advice and a passion for organic gardening
As the growing season ramps up, SCLT’s greenhouse at City Farm becomes a bustling place. Even with winter’s final storm (in April!) only just melting away, tiny sprouts are making their way through the soil on a recent Friday afternoon. Their progress is closely monitored by the skilled staff, high school interns and a revolving cast of devoted volunteers who drop in throughout the week to help out.
Debbie Schimberg started Southside Community Land Trust in 1981 with two friends who were also recent Brown University graduates. She later helped found the International Charter School in Pawtucket and the Providence Community Library. She and her husband, Kevin Neel, are the owners of Verve, makers of Glee Gum, which is headquartered in South Providence. Debbie won the 2015 U.S. Small Business Administration award for “RI Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year.”
This past growing season four Southside market growers were out in pouring rain and blistering heat every Wednesday afternoon, selling their produce at the Sankofa World Market, the city’s newest farmers market. With help from our staff, they ran a successful collaborative booth featuring both familiar and exotic produce native to the growers’ home countries.
Photo Caption: SCLT’s Rich Pederson with City Farm Apprentice Nayeema Eusuf.
By LEIGH VINCOLA/ecoRI News contributor
PROVIDENCE—This growing season the Southside Community Land Trust (SCLT) will introduce a farming apprenticeship specifically designed for veterans and minorities. Funded by a grant from the USDA’s Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program, this is the first opportunity of its kind in the area.