by Bintou Keita, Tolman High School Marketing & Management Academy Student
Fred Bottomley, the farmer behind Fairland Farms brought a delicious fruit to the Northeast agricultural scene. What fruit is it you ask? The answer is cranberries. Bottomley was originally interested in real estate before becoming a farmer. He wanted to buy a piece of land. Fortunately, he got his piece of land and decided to go into the family business of agriculture. Bottomley’s family were farmers but not of the cranberry kind. He became the first cranberry farmer in his family. Farming cranberries wasn’t necessarily a need for Bottomley, but more of a desire.
Fairland Farms is located in Norton, Massachusetts. They only sell cranberries and cranberry-based products. The farm sells fresh cranberries from September to the end of the year, and they sell dried cranberries all year. Customers can purchase Fairland Farms products through Farm Fresh RI’s Market Mobile wholesale service, at farmers markets, and via direct wholesale with the farm. Fairland Farms works with Farm Fresh RI because the nonprofit does so much for the community. Fairland Farms appreciates that they hold their farmers markets in low-income communities, so those populations also have access to fresh food.
Farm Fresh RI has always treated Fairland Farms more than fair. By working with them, Fairland Farms has gained more exposure, new customers, and helped form important relationships. Fairland Farms would like colleagues to know that they should work with Farm Fresh RI because you would be supporting a great cause and you are putting money into your local economy. On average, farmers get only 20 cents out of every dollar spent at a grocery store, so by purchasing directly from the farm or through Farm Fresh RI, customers put money directly into the farmer’s pocket. During this current time of crisis, Farm Fresh RI has really benefited Fairland Farms with their new home delivery option for residential customers in Providence, Pawtucket, and the East Bay.
Looking into the future, Fairland Farms is hoping to start co-packing. Co-packing is when a company undertakes the task of manufacturing and packaging food and other products for their business clients. They hope sometime in the not too distant future to start making cranberry salsa among other things. Fairland Farms is happy to be a part of working with Farm Fresh RI and getting their cranberries out to the local community. They hope to gain new customers because they feel that cranberries are a part of agricultural history in the Northeast.
In addition to offering fresh cranberries, Fairland Farms also offers a cookbook, Rubies in the Sand. You can purchase items and learn more about Fairland Farms by visiting their website (fairlandfarm.net), or contact their herbalist for more information at (401) 529-6535.
A group of students from the William E. Tolman High School Marketing & Management Academy in Pawtucket recently took on a project of writing profiles about some of the local farms that work with Farm Fresh RI. This was a great opportunity for students to get interviewing experience, learn about the local food system, and see it firsthand. Thank you to all of the students and farmers who participated!