Two acres might not sound like a lot of food given today's large-scale agricultural standards. But through thoughtful diversification and rotation of crops, Scratch Farms in Cranston, Rhode Island, has become one of Providence's most popular sources of local food. Community is key to the worker-owned farm, established in 2005 by Katie Miller; its vegetables are mostly distributed to its CSA members, and the farm welcomes community support through its frequent volunteer workdays, too.
More than 100 varieties of vegetables grow on Scratch Farms, and another plentiful harvest is in full swing right now. Specialty produce like chioggia beets and garlic scapes provide plenty of culinary escapes from the ordinary, and the farm helps out by posting practical recipes on its website. But the simple cucumber is a sure-fire summer crowd pleaser, with its cooling flavors, crisp bite, and versatility in dishes like cucumber and apple soup, or in a quick pickle with onions.