News & Blog
We recently had the chance to sit down with Elizabeth Hoover to chat about food justice and inclusion in the local food movement. Elizabeth Hoover is the Manning Assistant Professor of American Studies at Brown University, where she teaches courses on environmental health and justice in Native communities, indigenous food movements, and community engaged research. Professor Hoover is currently working on a book manuscript entitled “The River is In Us: Fighting Toxins in a Mohawk Community,” which is an ethnographic exploration of Akwesasne Mohawks’ response to Superfund contamination and environmental health research. Her second book project, “From ‘Garden Warriors’ to ‘Good Seeds:’ Indigenizing the Local Food Movement” explores Native American farming and gardening projects around the country, the successes and challenges faced by these organizations, the ways in which participants define and envision concepts like food sovereignty, and the importance of heritage seeds. More information on this exciting project can be found on her blog.
The local food movement in the United States has, in large part, struggled with issues of inclusion, access, and outreach over the past few decades. For example, whereas many organizations have encouraged customers to "buy local," they have failed to take into account the importance of promoting and increasing access to culturally appropriate foods that might not grow nearby.
A unique way to earn a return on investment and support your community.
Community Investment Campaign Recap
Now that our June Investment Campaign has ended, we want to thank all the investors and volunteers who helped make this campaign such a succcess! With support from over 80 investors, we raised $338,500 in community investments in just 2 months! That means that we've raised over half the quity needed to make sure Urban Greens not only opens, but thrives as a community owned and oeprated business. The success of this campaign is a testament both to the impact of community capital and to growing excitement around the Co-op.
Without so many committed and excited individuals, we would never have made it this far. Thank you!
It's not too late to invest!
Urban Greens is ready to be an anchor community business:
- A leader in local sourcing
- Dedicated to being inclusive: from leadership and hiring, to local food sourcing, to our Food For All program
- Offering farmers market quality, 7 days a week
An opportunity to invest where you live and see your investment grow.
A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to visit Christina Dedora over at Blue Skys Farm in Cranston, RI. Blue Skys is a part of Urbam Edge Farm, a 50-acre farm that is managed by the Southside Community Land Trust and leased out to seven different small farmers. In 2002, the land was purchased by the Rhode Island Division of Agriculture as part of the State of Rhode Island's Open Space Preservation Act. Scratch Farm, Pak Express Farm, Big Train Farm, and Zephyr Farm also farm on this land.
Christina farms 2 acres of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, which she sells at various farmers markets, through CSA, and through FarmFreshRI Market Mobile. In the coming years, Christina hopes to expand her cut flower and dried herb business. Blue Skys also offers a work share program, which you can learn more about on their website!
Christina fell in love with farming while working on a farm in France. After farming in Massachusettes for a few years, she started Blue Skys in 2006. Blue Skys is committed to practicing chemical free farming, educating customers on local and sustainable farming, and being creative in the field by growing a variety of crops! Christina and her team face many challenges as small scale farmers, including limited space and pesky rabbits (who love her vegetables as much as we do!).
You can find Blue Skys at the Pawtuxet Village Farmer's Market, Saturdays from 9am-Noon! Stock up on everything from cucumbers to sunflowers to fresh lavender!
Urban Greens Food Co-Op is excited to source From Blue Skys when our store opens in the fall of 2017!Read More
Here at Urban Greens, we’re committed to supporting local farmers and food producers in Rhode Island! Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with Laura over at Sweet & Salty Farm, a small dairy farm in Little Compton, Rhode Island. Along with her husband Andrew, their daughter, Annie, and a team of volunteers, Sweet & Salty produces some of the most delicious yogurt and cheese in New England. “We first became interested in farming in general, as easters. We loved to eat and eventually became especially interested in cheese,” Laura says. “Through a series of internships, apprenticeships and experiences, we came to see dairy farming and especially value-added dairy (cheese in particular) as an economically viable model of sustainable agriculture that we were very interested in.” Laura and Andrew had some family in the area, and with the help of Matt Jennings at Farmstead and Skip Paul at Wishing Stone Farm, they started leasing their beautiful, oceanfront land from the Wildes family of Whimshaw Farm 8 years ago.
Sweet & Salty milks a small herd of grass-fed Jersey cows and processes all of their milk into yogurt and cheese at their on-site creamery. Their dairy is seasonal, meaning that all their cows give birth to calves in the spring and milk until early winter, which is also peak growing season for the grasses that are their primary source of nutrition. Thus, Sweet & Salty’s yogurt is available from April through January, though some of their cheeses are available year round. Sweet & Salty sells its products both at Farmers Markets and wholesale at grocery stores in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts. Whereas selling wholesale is a very efficient way of selling large quantities at once, Farmers Markets provide a chance for Laura and Andrew to chat with customers about their vision for the farm. “We can see customers’ reactions right away to a flavor, a name, a price- it’s a great place to learn.”Read More
Urban Greens Food Co-op will be locating our future grocery store at 93 Cranston Street, the site of the old Louttit Laundry building. The co-op will be the anchor commercial tenant in a mixed use development including 39 residential units--8 of which will be "low-income" housing and 31 will be for "work force" housing. Urban Greens will be the sole commercial tenant, occupying 8000 sq ft of ground floor retail space in one of the two buildings.