Rhode Island College students, staff plant new community garden 

A community garden has recently been created by several students, faculty and staff members at RIC who plan to sell what is grown in the garden to the Fruit Hill Farmers Market and other local venues beginning in early August.

RIC President Nancy Carriuolo and Jim Murphy, the college's first ever sustainability coordinator, talk near the newly planted community garden.
Work on the garden began in late May, and the first harvests are scheduled for late summer and early fall. Radishes, lettuce and tomato are among the produce that have already been planted, and according to Jim Murphy, the college’s first sustainability coordinator, “the majority of the decisions [on what will be planted] will be up to the students tilling the soil.”

Thus far, 10 RIC students have signed up to work on the garden with Murphy and Virginia Porter, a RIC clerical staff member with extensive experience in community gardening in Providence.

This project was made possible thanks to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, who offered the college use of three garden plots on their multi-acre religious complex on Fruit Hill Avenue in North Providence.

Murphy said, “I am grateful to Sister Rosemarie Higgins for being a good neighbor who didn’t hesitate to help the college.”

Murphy says he is still looking for a tract of land on campus where more of the college community can be involved in future plans for the project.

Produce from the RIC community garden will be on sale at the Fruit Hill Farmers Market held on campus every Sunday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. from Aug. 5 to Oct. 5. Proceeds from what is sold will help cover club expenses.