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 grew our vegetables without chemicals, and sold them at farmers markets, to our neighbors through a CSA, and to local restaurants. In the fall of 2018, we passed stewardship of the Seekonk fields over to our friend and colleague David Kuma, and we will no longer be selling food as Sidewalk End Farm. We will continue to steward the original garden on Harrison St., caring for and sharing the medicine and food that grows there, and maintaining it as a place to gather and foment.
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.