Winner of the 2021 SPJ Sigma Delta Chi Food & Restaurant Journalism Award for the 6-part Boston Globe series "States of Farming," which looked at BIPOC farmers in New England.

"Well-written and comprehensive, Ruggiero’s articles offer insight into the region’s unique agricultural communities and the people who are behind their growth.”
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In Maine, a farmer and scientist collaborate, creating a plan that adapts to climate change

The Climate Adaptation Fellowship helps small farms across the Northeast prepare for the future By Jocelyn Ruggiero Globe correspondent, August 2, 2022 WINDHAM, Maine — Bumbleroot Organic Farm co-owner Melissa Law and climate resilience specialist Sarah Simon of the Maine Farmland Trust walk shoulder to shoulder through tall grass in the field that marks the outermost edge of Law’s farm. They speak quickly, sometimes laughing, sometimes intensely, catching up in the shadow of a row of towering pines that stretches 1,000 feet toward a pollinator meadow and beyond that, dense forest. In front of the pines, in sharp contrast, are four long rows of newly and strategically planted perennials, 400 in total. Although most were only about 6 inches when they went into the ground in April, some already peek above their knee-high, blue cylindrical plant shelters. The 12 species of woody, bushy perennials will mature at varying heights. It will take more than 20 years for the American Mountain Ash, American Plum, and Redbud closest to the pines to grow to their full height of 25 feet, while the Indian Currant in the row farthest from the pines will reach its 5-foot maturity in just two to three years. Together, these perennials form a hedgerow that will help break the winds that pummel Bumbleroot’s four upper fields year-round, slowly and steadily eroding their nutrient-rich topsoil. The hedgerow fulfills one of numerous climate adaptation and mitigation goals Law and Simon set in 2021 during their collaboration as participants in The Climate Adaptation Fellowship, an ambitious peer-to-peer learning program that paired 37 fruit and vegetable farmers and agricultural advisers from eight states across the Northeast. This growing season, farmers in the region, like regions across the country, once again contend with dramatic weather conditions that impact their crops and, consequently, the food that surrounding communities not only cherish but rely upon. Read Full Article.

‘In caretaking each other, we know that we can provide and have what we need, and that’s how we live abundantly’

The Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective nourishes abundance in Indigenous communities throughout New England STATES OF FARMING: Another in a series of occasional stories looking at BIPOC farmers in New England. By Jocelyn Ruggiero Globe correspondent, October 12, 2021 CENTERVILLE — Hidden from view at the base of a steep wood and brick stairway, Rachael Devaney’s family cottage sits on the shore of Long Pond, mid-Cape. This water is home to many creatures: muskrat, opossum, ducks, snapping turtles, frogs, minnows, and freshwater clams, while osprey, eagles, and seagulls populate the sky above. There’s a saltwater exchange on the shore opposite the cottage — the pond is less than two miles from the Atlantic Ocean — and, in Eastern Woodlands culture, a waterway that flows between fresh and salt is a place of regeneration and cleansing. Read Full Article.

The African Alliance of Rhode Island brings pop-up markets to underserved communities

STATES OF FARMING: Another in a series of occasional stories looking at BIPOC farmers in New England. By Jocelyn Ruggiero Globe correspondent, August 3, 2021 PROVIDENCE — It’s a sticky 91 degrees on a late Friday afternoon in July, and although the chalk-decorated A-frame sign announces “Pop-Up Market,” the sidewalk outside the Urban Greens Food Co-Op in the West End feels more like a block party. A DJ moves in rhythm as he blasts Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin.” Pedestrians pause as women in colorful African fabrics lift produce from vehicles parked curbside and pile it high in orderly rows of wicker baskets on three long plastic folding tables covered in floral vinyl tablecloths, under which hangs a banner that reads “AARI Bami Farm,” the African Alliance of Rhode Island. The eldest of the women, 63-year-old Garmi Mawolo, wears a blue and yellow head wrap. She settles into a plastic folding chair and waits for customers. Read Full Article

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