This from MJ Robinson, the city’s Community Gardener in Residence…
“The Parks Department has about 50 water connections that we start making as soon as the weather allows. This process requires coordination with Water Supply Board and balancing with our other responsibilities and capacity. Generally, we try to have all water connections flowing by Mother’s Day at the latest. This year, that is May 7. Our priority is on gardens that are needed for food security in some of our neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by COVID. I know all things green are popping earlier, but we ask for your patience as we work our way through the City.”
For more than 20 years, the University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension and its Master Gardener Program have teamed with the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation to give away more than a million packets of vegetable, flower and herb seeds to schools, youth groups, community gardens and individuals throughout Rhode Island and beyond.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the organizers to modify the distribution of the seeds in 2021 to reduce the risk to the volunteers who traditionally sort, pack and distribute the seeds.
With what seemed like summer in the air, we held our second garden workday of the season on Saturday! The beds had been turned during our last workday, so on Saturday we did just a bit more soil prep and then planted ten berry bushes and a few handfuls of annual flower seeds.
Michael Bradlee once again lead the effort, giving tips on how deep and far apart to plant, how to prepare the soil in the holes with compost and leaf mulch, and how to break up the roots of the bushes to prepare them for their new homes.
Once the plants were in, we top dressed with a little more compost and leaf mulch and then covered the rest of the bed with cedar mulch to keep down weeds and hold water. These bushes will need a little extra care as they get used to their new locations, but they’re already making the garden and playground look extra inviting!
A big thank you to everyone who came out on Saturday for our 2019 Spring Cleanup and Earth Day Celebration! The day was mostly sunny and not too cold – and there were plenty of helping hands.
Gardeners, playground parents and kids, and neighbors came by to take part in cleaning up the park and getting the garden ready for the growing season by cleaning up beds, hooking up hoses, and spreading woodchips along the paths.
Gardener Michael Bradlee took the lead in preparing beds for a host of new blueberry and blackberry bushes which will be planted along the garden fence in the coming weeks and Margie Smith read stories and helped kids plant their own seeds to take home.
We would also like to thank the the Providence Department of Parks, the Partnership for Providence Parks, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and their community partners for providing us with a small grant to purchase supplies as well as providing snacks and buttons for our volunteers!
We’re looking forward to our Annual Spring Cleanup and Earth Day Celebration – Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to noon at the garden!
Planned activities include:
Story time and art project for kids
Station where neighbors can plant a seed to take home
Spreading wood chips along garden paths
Preparing garden beds for the growing season
Planting flowers in the garden common areas
Setting up hoses, etc.
Prepared beds in the park for communal berry bushes
Socializing and meeting our neighbors and new garden members!
We’ll have water, coffee, and snacks on hand. Participants can also pick up a City of Providence Spring Cleaning Button that gives discounts and freebies at select local businesses. We hope to see everyone there!