The Providence Journal recently reported the growth of RI farms (Number of RI farms is growing). It’s promising to think that while the RI unemployment climbs and local employers and governments make cutbacks, that at least local farms might be flourishing.
The Census of Agriculture, Rhode Island saw a sharp increase (the highest in New England and likely the U.S.) in the number of farms and total land in farms. The 2007 data found 1,219 Rhode Island farms compared with 858 in 2002. However, since the Census is only done every five years, we won’t know how the farms weathered the worst of the recession (not to mention the rain) until 2014 (when the 2007-2012 data would be released).
So, take a look at the impressive list of 2,040 farms listed on Farm Fresh Rhode Island and support as many as you can. I’m doing my part, but there’s only so much I can eat.
Highlights from the Census:
- The number of RI farms was 1,219, up 42 percent from 2002.
- Land in farms totaled 67,819, up 11 percent from 2002.
- Market value of production totaled $65.9 million, up 19 percent from 2002.
- Direct market sales totaled $6.292 million, up from $3.697 million in 2002. 249 farms (20 percent) reported direct market sales.
- Organic value of sales totaled $1.2 million, up from $270,000 in 2002.
- Agritourism income totaled $689,000 on 43 farms, up from $23,000 and six (6) farms in 2002.
Farm Fresh RI: Local food guide, farmers’ markets
Get Fresh Buy Local: Government campaign to foster local food
Census of Agriculture Report