16 Oct 2023

Planting the Seeds: A story about soil, food, and community.

Josh Pereira


For Adena “Bean” Marcelino, her journey to cooking was born out of a deep desire to strengthen family traditions and community bonds. In 2019, that aspiration took shape in the form of a supper club. Today, thanks to her hard work, and access to resources, Marcelino’s meal club has evolved into a small business – Black Beans PVD. Marcelino runs the scratch kitchen out of Providence as one of three retail tenants operating pop-up markets and restaurants at Southside Community Land Trust (SCLT).

Supported by the Papitto Opportunity Connection, SCLT provides access to land, education, and other resources so people in Rhode Island can grow food and create community food systems. SCLT owns or directly manages 21 community gardens in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls, and partners with schools, housing, and community organizations to manage another 37. They also manage land used by 25 farmers to supply fresh fruits and vegetables to farmers markets, food businesses, restaurants and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture).

Over the summer, POC tagged along with Marcelino as she visited Cranston’s Urban Edge Farm. There, Marcelino was welcomed by two local farmers, Teo and Margarita, who were happy to harvest the food she’d cook for her restaurant’s soft launch.

“Standing in the fields, on the farm, with Teo and Margarita feels like home,” said Marcelino. “In this moment I feel grounded knowing that I’m the presence of people who are chasing their dreams as I’m also chasing mine.”

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