Red Planet Vegetables in Johnston, RI chemical-free
Some of what we grow is available year-round.
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Red Planet grows vegetables year round on Greenville Ave in Johnston, RI; just 4 miles from the west side of Providence. We have a mini CSA through the "Early Spring" and a Summer/Fall CSA. You will also find us with the Little City Growers Cooperative at the Armory Farmers Market, and on plates at great restaurants around Providence.
We have one of the most bikeable farm locations in the Providence area, as we're a safe 1/2 mile ride from the end of the Woonasquatucket bike path.
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Johnston, RI - Matt Tracy and Catherine Mardosa didn't dive straight into farming, but rather took small steps to get there. They moved to the West End of Providence in the early 2000's, where they started growing food in their small garden. They noticed that neighborhood kids would come to their patch of green, where flowers and vegetables grew, to play. The West End had a dearth of fresh, healthy food at the time and these kids, repulsed at first, grew intrigued by the fact that food you can eat actually grew out of the soil.
Watching these kids reconnect to the simplicity, yet significance of growing food inspired Catherine and Matt to establish more garden space -- creating city oases if you will -- as a way to bring fresh, healthy food to the neighborhood. These goals were also enhanced by Catherine's volunteer work at Southside Community Land Trust, where she saw first hand how urban agriculture positively impacted the landscape, community, and health of its Providence neighbors. Eventually, these dreams grew to committing to farming as a career.
So how did Red Planet Vegetables get its name? It all goes back to 2003, which was quite an eventful year and right at the time Catherine and Matt's farming venture got started. It was the year of the Mars Rover Expedition, where that red planet was the closest to earth its been in many years. At the same time, it was the beginning of the Iraq War -- Catherine and Matt learned the interesting fact that Mars, the Roman god of war, was also the god of agriculture. All of these pieces tell the story of how Red Planet Vegetables got its name!
Starting a new farm is no easy feat. Red Planet Vegetables had to change locations three times until it finally settled into the historic Mathewson Farm in Johnston, where Catherine and Matt farm organically on 2 acres of space. With support from friends and fellow farmers in the community -- Rich Pederson from City Farm and the folks at Urban Greens -- Red Planet Vegetables thrives today where it sells organic produce with other small urban farmers at the Armory Park Farmers Market, several local restaurants, and its loyal CSA members.