SCLT staff adapt programs to expand food access, ensure farmer safety in wake of COVID-19
Since SCLT’s founding nearly 40 years ago, staff have focused on providing access to land for people who want to grow food. This started with community gardens in Providence, but now includes large urban and rural farms in multiple Rhode Island communities.
Driving down Pippin Orchard Road in Cranston, number 35 stands out. There’s a large sign for Urban Edge Farm next to the driveway. Turn in and you will see beautiful herbs, luscious vegetable fields, and an old barn.
Two years ago, SCLT received one of the largest grants in its history: nearly $600,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute for Food and Agriculture, to be spent over three years. The funds would provide training and other support for beginning farmers and help increase the acreage for food production in Rhode Island. SCLT would share funding with several local partners to achieve these objectives.
For years Kathan Teepe had been looking for farmland where she could raise vegetables to sell through her own CSA, and where she could cultivate flowers for extra income.