In Our Summer 2017 Issue
Summer is finally here and with it a sense of renewed optimism that comes with long balmy days and brilliant sunshine. It could be easy to turn to negative thoughts with our world so fraught with political, social and environmental challenges, not to mention our state’s own political and economic difficulties. But from my perspective, there is much to be shared that is positive, especially here in Rhode Island.
Yes, we’ve got work to do—but that’s why it is all the more inspiring to learn from community members who galvanize together to get things done.
A prime example of positive Rhody spirit can be found in the article on page 16 about the building of Newport’s first community garden on the lawn of the historic Great Friends Meeting House. The folks at Aquidneck Community Table identified the need for garden space, devised a plan to meet it and followed the plan through to the completion of 23 garden plots by spring planting. The garden will enter its second season this summer, and plans for other community garden spaces are on the way.
We’ve got the story of young farmers who turned a garbage-strewn lot into an urban farm that produces nutritious food—itself a story of optimism, even with the added challenges they face by farming in the city. Add to that the story of determined backyard and community gardeners who are finding fellowship and a sense of purpose while tilling the soil.
And what’s not to love about Rhode Island when it comes to summertime and the incredible coastline and saltwater ponds of South County? The story of dinner on (and quite literally in) the water on Ninigret Pond with Walrus & Carpenter Oysters will surely give you a touch of townie pride.
In a place where we all live by three degrees of separation, it’s encouraging to learn how people in competing businesses can support one another through collaboration, as do the growing number of flower farmers who are meeting the demand for locally grown blooms.
Then there are the simple joys—like the anticipation of sweet corn, tomatoes, berries and peaches, plus the eggplant, prodigious amounts of zucchini and cucumbers and so much more. To me, they’re all part of the underlying goodness and flavor that comes from living in our little corner of the world.
As you take in all of the bounty and beauty that summer in Rhode Island has to offer, it’s good to remember: We live in the state of hope.