EcoRI covers the No Trash Project! at the FUG.
The Fertile Underground in 1000 Words!
Take a look inside our Grocery's 4 walls with a virtual store tour
Great Photo Gallery of the New Urban Farmers
We Got Recipes!
Fertile Underground operate according to a Communal model, which may be prefaced by the Amish saying, “Many hands make light work.” We’ve discovered that working together takes the pressure off any person individually. While we all come together with different skill-sets and availability, our common goal unites us in teaching each other and cooperating to make wonderful things happen.
In our garden we use no chemicals or synthetic fertilizer, and avoid GMO seeds and anything we deem “unnatural.” As such, we employ various classic methods of composting, creating furrows and mounds, companion plantings, and raised beds. The land we currently garden on is contaminated after years as an auto-shop parking dump, so our beds are all built above the soil, lined with plastic or landscape cloth, and filled with brought-in compost & fill. Our garden is decidedly “organic” in it’s practices, with some members practicing aspects of Biodynamics, Permaculture, and French Biointensive planting in their garden work. We intersperse annuals with perennial plantings throughout our beds, and allow some plants to go to seed for our continued use.
Communal gardening allows us to share chores. Most members come once a week to do things like watering, weeding, and replanting. In exchange, they go home with a collection of vegetables. Members split the rent evenly, to maintain the space, and their access. There are currently 5 garden Stewards who guide the other members in new plantings and the variety of ways to plug in for an afternoon of working in the garden.
Working together not only helps take the pressure off any one of us, it also teaches us how to cooperate in ways that could never be artificially simulated. Communication becomes essential, especially because members may stop in at any time. Developing ways to keep each other informed of new plantings, changes, and processes like composting forces us all to grow, and also to take responsibility for the part we each play in each little “garden catastrophe”.
Things happen in the garden that appear monumental and disastrous at the time, often based on some human error, and the trick is to get past it, and remember that the soil will always provide another go, another round, another chance to do it better. It is only a mistake if we do not learn from it (otherwise it’s a lesson). Our abilities of organization, cooperation, friendship and trust have all been extended, as we learn to share such a beloved thing as our garden gem in South Providence.