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.”
If you would like to donate to SCLT’s Land Fund your donation will enable us to offset the cost of this purchase and other capital improvements.
The Northern RI Conservation District’s Annual Seedling Sale is running now through April 24. Purchases help to support conservation programs throughout Providence County.
This year, a generous donor is funding a dollar-for-dollar match towards the purchase of The Good Earth Farm in western Cranston.
Starting last year, SCLT staff began nurturing a business relationship with the owners of The Good Earth Organic Farm and Gardening Center, in rural Western Cranston.
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.