by Evadiane Furtado, Tolman High School Marketing & Management Academy Student
What began as just a dream for Gina grew into a huge success story for her and her husband, Loren. The success story I am talking about is Our Kids Farm, located at 555 Gardner Road in Exeter, RI. Gina and Loren purchased the farm 12 years ago from a couple who owned the farm for over 25 years previously.
Gina’s main intention with growing this farm into what it is today is harvesting daily. She values freshness and believes that is the heart of a true farm. At the current time, it’s only Gina and her husband that work on the farm. “It’s less of a family tradition and more of a dream,” Gina says.
It’s very simple and uncomplicated as far as what Our Kids Farm does. Although don’t let the word “simple” misguide you. They produce and sell year-round salad greens and lettuce, herbs, and edible flowers — which all have that fresh flavor that everyone searches for. If you are a local restaurant looking to buy any fresh picked vegetables or flowers, then this amazing farm is your go-to place. Not only do they host their own stand and sell through Farm Fresh RI’s Market Mobile service, and at local farmers markets.
Having a farm in Rhode Island and maintaining a good, compatible relationship with Farm Fresh RI has helped them and the community a tremendous amount. Gina enjoys working with Farm Fresh RI because they do such a great job giving the different farmers access to markets that they would probably have trouble reaching on their own. Gina also mentioned how beyond amazing Farm Fresh RI’s Mobile Market is because it connects farmers and wholesale producers in the Northeast region with people and places such as chefs, hospitals, schools, and farm stands, among others. Obviously when you enjoy something as Gina enjoys working with Farm Fresh RI, she cannot hide her excitement from anyone, especially her friends.
Our Kids Farm is always changing, the crops they grow, the customers they sell to, and even the look of the farm. COVID-19 is the perfect example of that — as their usual restaurant and wholesale customer base disappeared overnight, they were able to pivot along with Farm Fresh RI to reach more retail customers through home delivery. That is the epitome of what keeps a business alive, the ability and willingness to embrace change when necessary.
If you ever get the urge to visit the farm, you shouldn’t hesitate for one second. Just from sitting and talking with Gina over the phone for only 10 minutes I could already tell that she is one of the sweetest people EVER! She really values her work.
For more information about Our Kids Farm, you can call them at (401) 294-9187. If you are someone like me that likes to test the waters before jumping in, visit their Facebook page (https://facebook.com/ourkidsfarm) where they post all the astonishing things they harvest and all the great things you can go and see. Don’t be afraid, and have a look for yourself. Our Kids Farm is for everyone, not just kids.
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!