SIDEWALK ENDS FARM, est. 2011
Sidewalk Ends Farm was founded by three young women in the spring of 2011 on a 5000-square foot vacant lot in Providence’s Armory Park neighborhood. In 2014 we expanded our operation to two acres in Seekonk, MA. We grow our vegetables without chemicals, and sell them at farmers markets and to our neighbors through a CSA. Since our inception we have been members of the Little City Growers Co-op, a Providence-based direct marketing cooperative of five small farms, with whom we sell produce to local restaurants.
Our farm has always been an educational space— foremost for the farmers ourselves! At the outset we were beginners: to agricultural practices, to the environmental challenges of urban farming, to the basics of running a business. Over the years, we’ve hosted preschools, high schools, universities, summer camps, other farmers and local agricultural organizations, for workshops and field trips covering the gamut from playing with worms to intensive cut greens production. We are always eager to find new ways that our farm can be a site of community knowledge-sharing.
The health of the soil is our priority as farmers. We don’t use chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and a lot of our work is building compost and hauling organic matter like leaves, seaweed, and manure. Our roots as urban farmers prepared us to rely very little on mechanized cultivation; most of our work is done with hand tools and we try to build the soil rather than till it. We also make our own liquid fertilizers using Rhode Island sourced fish parts and seaweed. Especially in times of climate insecurity, we are learning that resilient soil is the best bet.
We work towards a farming culture that is human-scale and caring. Our farm is woman-powered. The soil is our most precious colleague. The city is our birthplace and it is fertile. Other farmers are our best allies and teachers, and we work to promote connectivity between farmers in our region, so that we might be resilient in the face of drought and acid rain, bureaucratic challenges and economic strictures. As students of the land, we study its history too, and work to deepen our understanding of the ways that the legacies of slavery and colonial land theft continue to influence the policies and practices around farming in our region and in our country. We are compelled to study our positions in this history, and work with our colleagues to grow a more just farming culture.