Record harvest for Franklin Farm

 Nicole Brazier

CUMBERLAND – Nestled right in the heart of Cumberland is a historic farm with a garden that’s tended by more than 500 volunteers every summer.

“It started out as a small, quarter acre plot with a few volunteers and now it’s grown, we have an acre of land that we farm, and everything goes to the Rhode Island Food Bank, or the local food pantries directly,” said Denise Mudge, President of the Preservation Association that oversees the Franklin Farm.

This year the farm saw its biggest haul yet, 41,444 pounds of food. That’s over 10,000 more pounds than they’ve ever cultivated before.

“To see the affect of all of our hard work when you’re out there working under 90 degrees and mosquitoes, and the humidity, to see in the end what all the hard work results in, and it’s well worth it,” said Randy Tuomisto, co-chair of the Garden Committee.

In addition to being a community garden, the farm, which dates back to the late 1700s, is also part of a historic preservation project… and it’s a lesson in agriculture for local kids in summer camps and schools.

“The 7th graders from the middle schools, they take turns coming out, they have a big day they come here and there’s different speakers and different things they can do, they all take a turn planting, everybody gets a chance to plant seeds,” said Garden Coordinator Judy Quaglia.

The Rhode Island Food Bank says it feeds over 63,000 people each month and more than 20% of all the food they receive is produce.

The Franklin Farm is the only donating farm that has had such a surplus that it’s been able to contribute to both the food bank, and local collections right in Cumberland.

To find out how you can volunteer visit

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