Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Local harvest at the Culinary Arts Museum

Local foods were on the table and consumed with relish when The Southside Community Land Trust held their annual Harvesting Hope Breakfast at the Culinary Arts Museum on November 10, 2010.

The SCLT will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2011 - three decades of partnership with community gardeners and neighbors who are committed to transforming unused urban areas into productive food gardens in Providence's Southside and West End.

750 families are now growing, eating and preserving food at over 50 community gardens across the city (including the 13 that SCLT owns and manages), the group's three-quarter acre City Farm and a larger program, the Urban Edge Farm, on 35 acres in Cranston.

At this year's Harvest Breakfast, Pranzi Catering of Providence served Rhode Island johnnycakes, along with local honey, Narragansett Creamery spreads and chutney from Marcia's Chutneys of Warwick, Barden Family Orchard apples, Zephyr Farm eggs (just gathered from the Urban Edge Farm), homemade granola from The Providence Granola Project, fresh juices, other fruit, baked goodies, and more.  Pranzi Catering is a certified green caterer, and they buy all of their produce from local farmers markets.

In honor of the breakfast, the museum mounted a temporary display of vintage seed packets, a USDA bulletin from 1930 on "The City Home Garden" and a 1911 story of the children's school farm in Thomas Jefferson Park in New York City, where a thousand children planted 7,000 seeds on the opening day of the season.

The program included tributes to the joys of growing your own food by two Providence immigrants from Liberia, Garmai Mawalo and Gbassy Brown, who also did a song and dance.

Teenage gardener Eugenio DaSilva is pictured at left, sharing his story of husk cherries. Eugenio is a student at The Met School in Providence.

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