We are not just a grocery, not just a garden group, but a community of artists working together to create something beautiful: a world in which we can live sustainably and in harmony with the earth, beginning with the little piece of earth we call home in Providence, Rhode Island. We want to creatively dismantle the proverbial pavement that separates us from the soil of our sustenance, and break through the asphalt to let the living Earth breathe again. We are creating a nexus for this movement in Providence, and offering the healthy foods to feed it.
Here’s our story… in early 2009, a passionate band of starving artists coalesced around the idea that we wanted to fill the wasted, derelict spaces of our industrial city with the nourishing beauty of art and vegetables. We feel that interacting with plants may transform our lives, our health, our art, our urban landscape, our economy, our planet, and our future! We started planting seeds in our homes, and in under-loved landscapes around the city, and the Fertile Underground was born. Now, incorporating our growing passions for fresh food, we are opening a Real Food grocery to serve as a platform for sharing this vision and inviting others to join in.
The store, once open, will feature: local produce from RI Farms, cut-your-own herbs growing in the window, vegan and gluten-free baked goods, a significant bulk section with a feature on reduced packaging, and more… all selected with a conscience from local and/or reputable sources with a mind on providing a more sustainable lifestyle. We plan on hosting cooking demos featuring natural produce, and other informational workshops about modern health and affordable diets. We hope to grow our community through these food interactions, and spur the creation of more and more urban gardens to feed, teach, inspire, and provoke… for us, gardens are not just for food, but sacred spaces to connect with one’s source, appeal to ones’ instincts, and find the Art of Life.
We already have monumental support, the West Broadway Neighborhood Association has coordinated the construction of this green construction building, with solar panels and other eco-perks, specifically created to provide better food options for the West Side. It has been a deep project spanning most of a decade, and we now approach the crucial moment of bringing it all home. Our community is poised with hammers and paint brushes to take over this interior and make it a magically artful space worthy of housing this venture, and prime vegetables. Your Kickstarter pledge will pay local artists to transform our space, and purchase the materials to fuel them. Your pledge will change a white box into a functioning co-operative grocery store, and bless it with the loving support it needs to grow into a reality.
Fertile Underground was jointly-founded by muralist Dauna Jean Noble, who is designing a WPA-style agricultural mural of gratitude, dedicated to you! This will show a beautiful scene of earth-friendly farming, and also show the machinations of industrial agriculture as fading relics, decaying into the landscape. We'd like to invite your input, as we fill up a bountiful family garden with vegetables and totems chosen by our backers! You might want to see a purple pumpkin, a zucchini zeppelin, or a garden gnome! We'll provide the stems and tendrils, you just let us know what's growing on the vines!
A new art-form being developed at Fertile Underground is known as "Improvisational Carpentry." An urban offshoot of Natural Building, it emphasizes use of materials at hand, mainly collected scraps from a magnificently abundant trash generating source such as our mill-filled industrial town. Michael Giroux has built a 200 sq ft. greenhouse entirely of recycled materials. The "ImpCarp" team have already begun collecting sturdy shelving and are prepared to bring their skills into 1577 Westminster.
We will make this happen; the neighborhood has expressed hope for this type of grocery store for years. With deep community interest and support, we will find the best possible outcome for 1577 Westminster, together. Help us help all! The Fertile Underground have set Roots and are reaching for the Sun.
- (29 days)