Founded in 2005, 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 100 member CSA, but also to restaurants through Little City Growers.
Scratch Farm is run by Ben Torpey with the help of two full-time apprentices, a half dozen work shares and many volunteers. Ben has been growing vegetables full time since 2005, and at Scratch Farm since 2012. Katie Miller, the long-time soul and steward of Scratch Farm, is on sabbatical for the 2015 season to travel the country learning about seed breeding.
What’s a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a way for farms to sell directly to customers. Each CSA farm organizes their CSA a little differently, but most CSAs ask customers to pay ahead of time for a weekly share of the harvest. At Scratch, this model allows us to do all of our marketing in the winter when we have time, and ensures that we are able to sell all of our produce, because it is already sold. This frees us up to focus on what we love and are good at...farming! Paying up front if you are able is great; it allows us more capital for bigger expenses in the winter and early spring when larger conventional farms are taking out bank loans.
When you join our CSA, you become a shareholder in the farm for a season. Your membership directly supports the farm’s operation and entitles you to a weekly share of our produce. As a CSA member, you also ensure the livelihood of small-scale organic farming in Rhode Island and actively support a local economy that promotes both agricultural and economic sustainability.
Joining the CSA
Our CSA members pay on a sliding scale in order to make it affordable to as many people as possible. To join we ask members to pay a $50 deposit, then pay the rest in at most two installments, one at the first CSA pickup, the last half-way through the season.
The CSA season lasts twenty-five weeks, from June 9th through November 24th. Full shares (for 3-4 adults) are available on a sliding scale from $600-$850. Half shares (for one or two people) are available for $350-$600. We also offer additional shares of meat, cheese, eggs, pickles, and fruit, details are on our member contract. By using a sliding scale we hope to attract customers who otherwise would not be able to afford a share and may never be exposed to the delights of directly supporting a small farm. If you have the ability to pay the maximum amount please do, you will be directly subsidizing low income shares.
Each week you will receive a portion of all that’s ripe and ready in our fields. Due to the nature of the growing season, shares will be lighter in the spring and heavier in summer and fall. While content will vary from June to November, we estimate we’ll have 7-11 different items each week, with plenty of weekly favorites and some delectable rarities. Produce pickup will be Monday afternoons, 4-7 pm, in the Armory neighborhood of Providence at 186 Carpenter St.
- Salad Mix
- Cooking Greens
- Herb bunch
- Radish or Scallions
- Garlic Scapes
Visit us on Facebook, one of our CSA members posted pictures of
her half share for many of the weeks of last summers share
How to pay for your CSA using SNAP Benefits
We accept food stamp payments for the CSA through Farm Fresh RI. We don't
have a way to accept payments at the CSA pickup, so, to make CSA payments
you can go to one of the farmers markets that Farm Fresh runs, and make
payments with them. They will give you coins that you can then bring to us. You
can make payments on your own schedule, but we ask that payments are made
throughout the season, rather than all at the end. Here is a list of markets where
you can make payments:
The Winter Farmers Market at Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St., Pawtucket
Saturday: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
November 7 to May 29, 2010
Slater Mill, Downtown Pawtucket
Sunday: 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
June 7 to October 25, 2009
Rhodes on the Pawtuxet Parking Lot
60 Rhodes Pl, Cranston
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
May 9 to November 21
Parade St And Hudson St, Providence
Thursday: 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
June 4 to October 29
807 Broad St, Providence
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
July 11 to October 31
Wriston Quad, Brown University
Thayer St And George St, Providence
Wednesday: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
September 9 to November 4
Kennedy Plaza, Providence
Friday: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
June 12 to October 30
Hope St & Blackstone Blvd, Providence
Saturday: 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
June 6 to October 31
RIC: College Rd. And Mount Pleasant Ave., Providence
Wednesday: 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM
July 8 to October 14
By car to the farm:
To get to the farm from Providence, take Rt. 6 west to 295
south, get off at the Plainfield Pike exit (the 2nd exit after
getting onto 295) turn right off of the exit and go about 4
miles. When you see Pezza Farm on your right and the
Buddhist Monastery on your left, take the next left. The
farm will be immediately on your right, there will be a sign
for Urban Edge Farm. Our fields are way up in the back,
follow the dirt road past the two big greenhouses, past the
pond and up the hill.
From Providence, follow Plainfield St./Plainfield Pike all the
way to Pippin Orchard Rd. It is about 9 miles, after leaving
Olneyville, you will go up two big hills, past Wal Mart, down
a hill, then in a bit, it will be a little more farmy, you will go up
one more big hill, pass Pezza Farm on your right, and the
Monastery on your left, Pippin Orchard will be the next left at
the bottom of the hill, the farm immediately on your right after
turning onto Pippin Orchard.
call Katie at 351-4633
Visit us on facebook
CSA Pickup is at
186 Carpenter St.
Map of the farm
35 Pippin Orchard Rd.
Cranston, RI 02921
Our mailing address
is different from the
Send mail to:
4496 Flat River Rd.
Greene, RI 02827
We love having volunteers at the farm. If you want to come
out to help, call or email us to set up a time that works.
Remember to bring a hat, some water, and clothes you
don't mind getting dirty in. Be advised that there is no
proper bathroom near our fields; we use the woods or the
If you are organizing a group of 5 or more people for
a volunteer day, please get in touch at least a week in
advance to set up a time and date. For groups of 15 or
more we may be able to give you a tour of the farm in
conjunction with your volunteering. In general, we will be
available for hosting larger groups of volunteers between
11 and 6, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from April through
We also hold a workday every Sunday afternoon from May
through October. Sundays have become a time for folks
to build community while having fun working on the farm.
If you want to come out for that, please do! CSA members,
friends, and anyone who wants to help out with the harvest
are welcome to join us.
The Sunday workday is a time and place of sanctuary for
many female, queer and transgender people. We seek out
and create this space together as a respite from a world
that is often dismissive of people perceived as female, and
hostile to people seen as gender variant. When you come
to work with us, we ask that you be respectful of your fellow
volunteers. Please don't make assumptions about people's
gender, what gender pronoun they use, or their sexual
orientation based on their bodies or self-presentation.
We look forward to seeing you out at the farm!
We rely heavily on compost, green manures, mulch, and
crop rotation to maintain and build soil fertility. We do
not use any (organic or not) pesticides or herbicides. We
believe that good food comes from good soils, and have
seen plants stand up to disease, pest, and weed pressure
when they are grown in soil high in organic matter and where
a rich diversity of insect predators, pollinators, worms, and
beneficial microorganisms are encouraged to flourish.
We are continuously looking for ways to reduce our tillage,
plant more cover crops, diversify, and improve our crop
rotation. We are very happy to share our experiences with
reducing our tillage, saving seeds, running a CSA, or really
anything. Come visit and ask a lot of questions! We love