An event about ‘feel-good commerce’ has stayed true to its roots
Every May for the past 25 years, gardeners and urban farm enthusiasts have made a pilgrimage to City Farm for our Rare & Unusual Plant Sale. They come to support SCLT’s work to transform abandoned land into gardens and farms and provide resources and training so anyone who wants to can grow food. But they also come to celebrate the start of the growing season and to savor the traditions that make the Plant Sale a joyful, authentic, shared experience.
Providence’s newest community garden, at 485 Charles Street, will be ready and open to the public on Sat., May 13. The first phase of the garden’s construction was managed by the City, with help from Councilman Nicholas Narducci. Two events are scheduled to let people know about the garden and to prepare the garden beds for planting.
By JONATHAN BISSONNETTE
CENTRAL FALLS – The Garfield Street park next year will become the home of the city’s first community garden, which officials say will provide urban agriculture and will help the city achieve its goal of increasing access to healthy food for families.
SCLT’s Urban Ag Kick Off is a fun time to reconnect with neighbors, learn about sustainable growing practices, and stock up on resources, like free, non-GMO seeds and low-cost, organic fertilizer. But the most tangible benefit for SCLT members is being able to take home 50 gallons of free, high-quality, organic compost! (Make sure you sign up or re-new either before or during the event.)
Usually it takes somewhere between several months to a year or more for a new garden or urban farm to go from the idea stage to completion (with design and planning, funding, installation and planting in between). So, when a garden for the nonprofit Higher Ground International was built within two months of being proposed, some of its clients called it a miracle.
Photo caption:Acknowledging a gift to Peace and Plenty Community Garden are, from left, Heather Beauchemin and Bryan Labrie of the Elmwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Mayor Elorza, Linda Lillie of the Center, Sen. Juan Pichardo, Rep. Grace Diaz, garden leader Doug Victor, Jenny Boone of SCLT and Kishma Pringle, another Center employee.
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.”