Hi.  We’re Ben and Katie.  We run Scratch Farm...

Scratch Farm is a small-scale vegetable, berry, flower, and culinary herb farm located 9 miles west of Providence, in Cranston, at Urban Edge Farm.   We do not use any pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or chemical fertilizers.  We hope to grow as much food as possible on our two acres while simultaneously taking care of the soil, ourselves, our customers, and our friends.  We sell primarily through our CSA, but also to restaurants through the Little City Growers Co-op.

Urban Edge Farm
Urban Edge Farm, once Ringrose Farm, was purchased by the Department of Environmental Management in 2002 as part of an effort to preserve farmland in Rhode Island.  Upon purchase, it was envisioned as a community farm managed by the Southside Community Land Trust that would provide educational and volunteer opportunities for the public and be a place for farmers to have access to urban markets as part of a community food system.  It was hoped that it would someday serve as a model of community farming for other similar projects in the state.

Many years later, we believe that we are close to achieving this goal.  Today 7 farms operate independently at UEF but work closely with each other and with SCLT to manage the property.  We share tractors, greenhouse space, the irrigation system, the barns, and the responsibilities of maintaining these things.  This gives each of us access to much nicer equipment than if we were to purchase it on our own, and makes it affordable to enter into farming, a typically very capital intensive venture.  Between the 7 farms, we offer 4 different CSA’s, host hundreds of volunteers each year, provide internship opportunities, run workshops, attend farmers markets, sell to many restaurants around Providence, and contribute thousands of pounds of fresh produce to our community.  Urban Edge Farm is a magical place and we are excited to work with the other farmers to continue to develop this model of land tenure.

The Farmers

Katie began co-managing Scratch Farm in 2006 along with Mary Saunders, who started the farm the year previously.  Before working at Scratch with Mary, Katie worked at Manic Organic, a farm run by Nicole Vitello in Portsmouth, RI, and before that worked in the UEL garden at Brown University and helped build a handful of gardens in backyards and empty lots around Providence.  She hopes to every year spend more time running chaotic and unscientific experiments on the farm, breeding seeds, and scheming different crop rotations, growing practices, and ways of reducing tillage. 

Ben is excited to be back for his third season at Scratch.  This will be his sixth season co-managing a CSA, after three seasons at Germantown Community Farm in New York's Hudson Valley. He has also apprenticed on small diversified farms in Maine, Rhode Island, and western Massachusetts.  Ben has also worked with refugees at the International Institute, teaching English and facilitating the creation of a new community garden. He lives on a small homestead in Greene, RI, with his wife, Lu, son, Asa, and their dog, Susa.CSA.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0
Click here to sign up for the CSA!CSA.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0