Cedar Edge Farm in Wyoming, RI organic certified
Cedar Edge is an organically certified family-run farm that offers the highest quality fruits, vegetables, cut flowers and vegetable transplants. We are committed to bringing our customers the freshest and best tasting produce that Rhode Island soil can grow. We take pride in using environmentally friendly farm practices such as biological controls, trap crops, crop rotations, disease resistant varieties, and drip irrigation to minimize the environmental impact to the surrounding community. Our wide variety of crops changes throughout the season, and we offer traditional favorites like tomatoes and eggplant as well as more unusual fare such as Asian greens and tropical melons.
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Wyoming, RI - The seeds of Cedar Edge Farm were sown years ago when Tim and Sue Kocab, along with their five children, spent summers cultivating their large garden in North Kingstown. In 2000, brothers Ted and Tom Kocab bought a property in Wyoming, Rhode Island which included a two acre field. In 2001, the family started bringing produce grown on the farm to Fisherman’s Memorial Farmers’ Market and Goddard Park Farmers’ Market. Family members involved in the farm include Tim and Sue Kocab, their children Tom, Ted, Jackie, Katie, Tom’s wife Auburn, and Katie’s fiancé Tom.
The farm has grown and changed every year in response to customers. It has added different crops including heirloom and specialty crops like Asian greens, daikon radish (one customer was so excited to find this specialty item that he sends half of his radishes to his son in Vermont each week) and heritage tomatoes. Some of Cedar Edge Farm’s main crops include strawberries, lettuce, greens, tomatoes, and melons. In 2003 the farm added cut flowers for Tom and Auburn’s wedding; the flowers were a hit at markets and have been popular ever since. The addition of strawberries in 2007 was a labor-intensive but delicious new crop for the farm.
The family added markets over the years and found they wanted to expand the farm’s growing capacity. Through a friend, they heard of a farm in Johnston that was lying fallow and contacted the owner. 2007 was the first full growing season on this leased farm. As it had been untouched for four years, they were able to obtain certified organic status, a goal which they had been contemplating for a few years.
Cedar Edge Farm has never used synthetic pesticides or herbicides but hadn’t previously been certified organic. The family didn’t want to be exposed to toxic chemicals and they didn’t want to grow a product for others that used chemicals. They explain that growing organic produce is about soil health, a holistic approach and preventing problems before they happen. It makes sense for the environment, the community and the farmer. Becoming certified validated the farm’s methods for customers and was a valuable tool for self-evaluation and improvement of farm practices like scouting for pests and monitoring soil fertility.
Until the 2007 season, the eight family members worked the farm without hired help. With the 2007 expansion, they hired three part time employees for the season to help with harvesting and field work. Currently seven of the eight family members involved with the farm have full time work or school outside of the farm. Sue and Katie teach so they have summers “off” to spend farming full-time. Jackie is completing her master’s degree and juggles school and farm commitments. Auburn was previously a teacher but is now working full time on the farm with baby Ellie in tow. Tim and the two Toms spend evenings and weekends working the farm, and Ted is the go-to guy for equipment repair and various other tasks.
2008 marks the farm’s kick-off season for CSA. Cedar Edge Farm has long considered starting a CSA as part of its operations. Getting to know their customers has been one of the rewards of selling at markets and Community Supported Agriculture is a way to extend that relationship.
In the spring, certified organic vegetable transplants are for sale. This year the farm will also offer an “order ahead” service so people can choose more specifically the varieties and quantities they want, and can order their transplants at a discount.
For more information, please visit the farm’s website at www.cedaredgefarm.com