Every journey is full of twists and turns and our story is no different. You may already know how our farm started small and gradually grew over time, but there’s more to it. Sweet Berry Farm simply would not exist if it wasn’t for our partnership with the Aquidneck Land Trust.
We got our start growing strawberries but kept our day jobs. Neither of us are trained farmers; we chose this lifestyle because we love it. To be full-time farmers we would need more land. We were thrilled when we discovered that the fields next to our own were available but we didn’t think we’d be able to afford it.
As it turned out, the answer was land conservation. Once we purchased the land, we partnered with the Aquidneck Land Trust to put it into permanent conservation easement. Under this agreement we would continue to own the land and use it as we see fit for farming. Together we established which sections of the land would remain undeveloped and which sections could potentially contain a structure (such as a shed, barn, and other necessary resources). This would allow Sweet Berry Farm to expand its growing area but also earmark space to support the farm operation.
This arrangement truly benefits everyone in the community. By partnering with the Aquidneck Land Trust, Sweet Berry Farm has committed to remaining undeveloped. Not only does this support local wildlife and preserve scenic vistas, it has provided us with the funds needed to expand the farm into a full-time, sustainable farming business. This means fresh, locally grown food for the community and recreational opportunities that span from pick-your-own fruit to our Summer Concert Series.
This year marks the twentieth anniversary since our expansion from a simple easy-up tent, beer cooler and goat shed to a 100-acre farm with a post-and-beam market. Aquidneck Land Trust was a huge part of making that happen and we will always be grateful for the partnership. Sweet Berry Farm would not exist if not for the support we’ve received from our community. Thank you for these past 20 years and cheers to 20 more!