We match farmers with landowners who want to keep their land from being developed
According to the USDA, farmland in Rhode Island is more expensive than any other state in the country. This makes it extremely difficult for beginning farmers to buy land here.
SCLT is working with partners around the state to help connect people seeking farmland with landowners who want to lease or sell their farmland, to keep it in production and from being developed. Project partners include: Young Farmer Network, The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island, RI Department of Environmental Management, RI Land Trust Council, Northern RI Conservation District and Land for Good.
We reclaim land for farmers to grow food
We turn undeveloped, urban and rural properties into farms where first-generation and immigrant farmers grow healthy (chemical-free) produce for wholesale and retail outlets, including farmers markets, restaurants and CSAs. Parcels may be managed by one or more farmers or comprise a dozen farm enterprises, such as Urban Edge Farm in Cranston. SCLT’s affordable leases on farmland enables a growing number of people t0 make a living while meeting Rhode Island’s growing demand for locally grown, fresh produce.
Good Earth Farm
Good Earth Farm (GEF) is our latest land acquisition. This 20-acre property is located a short distance from Urban Edge Farm in Western Cranston. Like UEF, it hosts a variety of small-scale farmers who mostly began growing food on SCLT’s urban community gardens before moving onto larger parcels. Six farm operations, four operated by Hmong farmers and two by East African farmers, are now based at GEF. The farm has two heated greenhouses, automated irrigation, two wells, dry storage, retail space and other shared infrastructure and resources. Farmers sell their produce to farmers markets and wholesale outlets through SCLT’s Farm-to-Market Center. They host a plant and garden resource market on weekends in the late spring.
Urban Edge Farm
Urban Edge Farm comprises 50 acres in Western Cranston, RI, roughly 30 of which are now cultivated. SCLT manages the farm under a long-term lease with the RI Department of Environmental Management. Seventeen farms operate at UEF, employing about 40 people, most of whom are immigrants and refugees from Southeast Asia, Africa and the Dominican Republic. Farmers share equipment, farm infrastructure and other agricultural resources at UEF, and receive technical assistance from SCLT farmer support staff. You can read more about it here.
For more information about the RI Farmland Access Program, please e-mail Matt Tracy at email@example.com
In addition to any urban farmers lease plots in our community gardens, waiting for farmland to open up so they can expand their businesses. SCLT’s Land Fund enables us to renovate abandoned urban parcels and clear undeveloped acreage at UEF for these farmers. Please donate, if you can, to support this Fund.