Located at 1800 Scituate Avenue in Hope, RI, The Good Earth Farm (GEF) is a 20-acre property, a short distance from SCLT’s Urban Edge Farm (UEF) in Western Cranston. Joining the list of protected farmland properties owned by Southside in July 2021, the farm has two heated greenhouses, automated irrigation, two wells, dry storage, and other shared infrastructure and resources.
For the previous two decades, the property was owned by Joyce and John Holscher, who operated the state’s first organic garden center there. Since early 2020, under a partnership between the Holschers and SCLT, farmers who had been growing on smaller parcels at other SCLT-owned properties expanded their operations to the Good Earth Farm. Twelve farm operations, including those led by Hmong, Burundian and Rwandan growers, are now based at GEF and we expect to make room for more in the coming years.
GEF farmers sell their produce at farmers markets and to wholesale outlets through SCLT’s Farm-to-Market Center and Aggregation Program. GEF also operates an organic farm and garden center, open seasonally, where growers can find supplies of plant starts, house plants, and organic compost, and can interact with experienced farmers to get advice and answers.
“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.”