New Urban Farmers launch Urban Food Lab in Rhode Island
“We are excited to be aligned with Mayor Don Grebien’s Pawtucket Culinary Arts Initiative.”
By Ethan Shorey
The Valley Breeze
The New Urban Farmers started the Urban Food Lab for many reasons, mostly because we saw a need for a community food hub in Pawtucket. We wanted a place where people could learn about food and where our locally grown produce could go get ready for market or be processed into a value-added product.
We see the Urban Food Lab as the umbrella that covers all of what we do here at New Urban Farmers, from planting seeds to making sauerkraut. We feel it is important for all communities to have healthy and green places. We do it through farming. We see more food being grown locally and more people eating from those local harvests and benefiting from better health.
The way we are all looking at food is changing and changing fast. We want to make sure that what we grow is what we eat. There is a huge opportunity for our community to get involved with food-related jobs, there are going to be more farms and more “real food” restaurants coming to Rhode Island.
Emily Jodka, right, and Bleu Grijalva, left, of the New Urban Farmers in the new Urban Food Lab in Pawtucket. The facility, a former catering business, has been repurposed into a building to offer a “Farm-to-Table” training program for anyone 17-years-old or older. In addition to learning about farming, students will grow plants, and learn how to take that fresh produce to make dishes in the kitchen. Grijalva and Jodka check out soil samples under a microscope in the facilities classroom to see what types of bacteria are living in that soil sample.