Indie Growers in Bristol, RI chemical-free
Some of what we grow is available year-round.
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134 Bayview Ave
Bristol, RI 02809
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Indie Growers is a truly small (2 acres small!) chemical free farm. We pride ourselves on a holistic farming approach. Nearly everything we do is by hand and with an absolute passion for Mother Nature.
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Bristol, RI - Lee Ann Freitas has coined a new term to describe Indie Growers: “nano-scale” farming. The farm,
founded in 2011, currently takes up just under two acres of land in Bristol. Split between Hope Street
and Metacom Avenue, “it’s urban farming at its finest,” Lee Ann explains. While she’d like to find more
land eventually, she’s determined that Indie Growers will stay small. Selling fresh greens at the Mt. Hope
Farmers’ Market and knowing that she picked them herself that same day is part of what she loves most
about being a small independent farmer.
Another reason why Lee Ann enjoys running Indie Growers is that it aligns with her goal of leaving
behind a sustainable legacy for her nine-year old son. Indie Growers is chemical-free and pesticide-free,
with most of the work done by hand. A bachelor’s degree in horticulture and graduate work in soil
science provide Lee Ann with the expertise necessary to run the farm, but the inspiration came from
her prior career in the nonprofit world. Seeing how many preventable illnesses were caused by poor
nutrition inspired Lee Ann to start growing healthy, delicious food that is accessible to everyone.
As a working mom herself, Lee Ann understands that time constraints can make healthy eating
challenging for many families. That’s why Indie Growers offers prepared meals along with their fresh
produce at the farmers’ market. Lee Ann works with a chef-nutritionist to come up with tasty and
nutritious dishes like Swiss chard quiche, kale salad with apples, and balsamic roasted chickpeas with
mustard greens. All the recipes are shared on Indie Growers’ Facebook page and website, along with
many other kid-approved favorites that feature local, seasonal vegetables.
Ultimately, seeing what chefs (both of the home and professional variety) do with Indie Growers’
harvest is Lee Ann’s favorite part of being a farmer. She strongly believes that food should be “a thing of
beauty—not good, not bad, just something to be enjoyed” whether at home or in a fine restaurant.
Despite the satisfaction that running Indie Growers brings her, Lee Ann concedes that being a one-
woman-show can be challenging. After a long day of hard work on the farm, she still has to take care
of the marketing, accounting, and other aspects that go into running a small business. Currently, Indie
Growers has no other employees besides her, although a dedicated group of volunteers help out at the
market and in the greenhouses.
Still, the appreciative response from Indie Growers’ customers makes it all worthwhile. Lee Ann tells a
touching story of one woman whose mother-in-law is dying of cancer and will only eat Indie Growers’
blossom salad. That reinforced Lee Ann’s argument that beautifully-presented food, grown as nature
intended, can be both healing and nutritive, and it’s easy to understand why she loves what she does.