This spring, the American Farmland Trust awarded SCLT a $5,000 grant toward the purchase of The Good Earth Farm in Cranston and awarded a $5,000 grant to farmers Teo and Margarita Martinez, whose business is located at Urban Edge Farm.
As of July 2, 2021, SCLT became the new owner of the Good Earth Farm, located at 1800 Scituate Avenue in Cranston. The 9-acre property includes a barn, three heated greenhouses, two high tunnels and a small retail operation.
For the past two decades, the property was owned by Joyce and John Holscher, who operated the state’s only certified organic garden center there. The purchase agreement includes a life estate allowing the couple to continue to live in their home on the property for as long as they like.
Since early 2020, under a partnership between the Holschers and SCLT, farmers who had been growing on smaller parcels at other SCLT-owned properties have expanded their operations to the Good Earth. There are currently 12 farmers growing on-site, including Hmong, Burundian and Rwandan growers. We expect to make room for more in the coming years.
The farm will be operated much as the nearby Urban Edge Farm is. SCLT manages that property under a long-term lease from the RI Department of Environmental Management. There, several established farmers mentor newer farmers, and all benefit from shared resources and infrastructure, including greenhouse space and cold storage.
“At the Good Earth Farm, we have the excellent opportunity to work with John and Joyce to mentor the new growers on the land,” said SCLT Executive Director Margaret DeVos. “They have decades of farming experience on this land, and are enthusiastic about helping new farmers to cultivate it and raise their own crops there.”