The Plant-Based City

The capital is flourishing – with urban gardens, farmers markets, and locally sourced menus

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Imagine a green future. Gardens on every city corner! Bright markets packed with local produce! State-of-the-art greenhouses for year-round cultivation! Restaurants that not only serve earth-friendly food, but transform seasonal ingredients into works of art!

It sounds like a pipe dream, yet that future isn’t distant. It’s not even theoretical. Many of these things are already here. Blueprints have been drawn. Ground has been broken.

Visionary new venues are about to spring open. Indeed, Providence is greener than most people realize; it’s teeming with growers and grocers, rural farmers and urban cultivators, organizers, laborers, delivery drivers, cashiers, and chefs. Our neighborhoods are robust with community gardens and farmers markets. Until now, passersby might not have noticed that other, verdant world. But our collective awareness is changing, fast.

“So much of culture revolves around food,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza, during a speech at the Edible Providence event in May. “Providence has been out in the forefront of integrating urban agriculture [with] thoughtful city planning… to combat diet-related chronic disease, reduce the amount of vacant or under-utilized land around the city, cut down on wasted food, and also strengthen local soils through composting – and catalyzing, of course, economic development at the citywide and neighborhood level.”

In the early 2000s, Louella Hill and Noah Fulmer were students at Brown University, and they wanted to find an apple that was grown in the state. Considering how many local orchards there are, the task proved surprisingly difficult.

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