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Environmental initiative to create urban farms on vacant City land

wilmington-urban-farm

An urban farm in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo (cc) tcd123usa

Providence Environmental Initiative Will Transform Vacant City-Owned Parcels into Urban Farms

‘Lots of Hope’ program awarded $100,000 by Rhode Island Foundation and Florida-based Local Sustainability Matching Fund

PROVIDENCE, RI – The City of Providence, in partnership with the Southside Community Land Trust and the Rhode Island Foundation, is embarking on a new initiative to convert city-owned vacant lots into productive urban farms.

“Lots of Hope is an innovative new program that will help to build a more sustainable and healthy City for years to come,” said Mayor Angel Taveras. “Providence has a vital environmental community committed to helping make the city more sustainable. Together, we are moving forward to transform Providence into one of the greenest cities in the nation. I thank the Rhode Island Foundation, the Local Sustainability Matching Fund and Southside Community Land Trust for partnering with the City of Providence on this exciting initiative.”

The Lots of Hope program will enable Providence residents to access low-cost, underutilized public land from the City along with technical assistance and hands-on support from Southside Community Land Trust. The program is financed by a $50,000 grant from the Florida-based Local Sustainability Matching Fund and a matching $50,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation.

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Urban Gardening

Cucumber flower

Photo from flickr by snowmentality

Today Inhabitat has an article called A Starter Guide to Urban Gardening. One of the things they discuss is the beauty of container gardening, and the variety of things you can grow in portable containers or window boxes.

I can actually attest to the idea of growing vegetables and herbs in window boxes. I lined my screened porch with a few window boxes actually inside the screen. This proved great for growing herbs. In fact, this year, I hope to add more boxes. I even grew peppers and cucumbers this way. The cucumbers actually grew a vine UP my screen as opposed to along the container. This actually looked quite beautiful as the vine produced pretty flowers that ran up the screen.

The downside to having the boxes inside the screened porch is that it confused the heck out of the bees, and any plants that require pollination to produce fruit, well… get your Q-tips out.

What tips do you have for urban gardening? What’s worked for you, and what lessons have you learned?

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