Tucked away on a former factory site, just two blocks from bustling Olneyville center, the Farm is a nonprofit that grows, rescues and gives away 45,000 flowers per year to people in anxious situations throughout RI. Normally during the farming season, nearly 200 volunteers come to the site to help grow, arrange and deliver flowers. Plus, dozens of artists come to paint, sketch, photograph and even write poetry in the fields. This year so far though, we are limited to a tiny number of staff allowed on site. Also, given the governor’s rules, we won’t be able to be have our big annual Flower Festival on site that was expected attract 1,500 flower lovers this year.
The Farm’s site was originally the Colonial Knife Factory – which was one of the busiest places in RI during WWII when it produced knives for the troops. Now the factory is too dangerous to enter, with both roof and floors falling in. However the Farm is fundraising- including winning grants from RI DEM – to restore the oldest parts of the building while removing asbestos and other pollutants, to turn the entire 2.7 acre site into a bigger Farm and training site supporting our state’s floristry and agriculture industries.
Honestly, being at the Farm at dawn and sunset, when the light is golden and magic, is an incredible experience, especially when you consider that it’s smack dab in the middle of Olneyville and just two miles from Providence City Hall.
Name: Anne Holland
Place: What Cheer Flower Farm
Location: 46 Atwood St., Providence RI