Jamestown Community Farm
The Jamestown Community Farm Incorporated is a non-profit
501c (3) organization. Our organization was created
13 years ago in response to an idea that there is both
individual and community value in helping those in need
and that one of the most fundamental needs is good food.
Growing fresh produce and distributing it to those less
fortunate meets a fundamental human need and is also
a valued project defining our Island community.
From the outset our intent was: to grow and produce
crops without the use of commercial fertilizers, pesticides
and herbicides and to pursue a method of sustainable
farming that systematically improves the value of the
agricultural soil even as it produces crops. The Farm
is committed to methods of farming that recognize and
minimize the impact on the natural environment and the
native populations of the Island’s flora, fauna
and natural resources, including water.
The Jamestown Community Farm exists on 17 acres of privately
owned cleared farmland in the center of Conanicut Island,
Town of Jamestown. It is located in the northern section
of the Center Island Greenway, a 1000 acre recreational,
historical, conservation and agricultural area, that
runs down the middle of Conanicut Island from north
of Carr Lane south to the Village.
The soils on the Farm (Newport A and Newport B) are
excellent for agriculture. In 2012 the Farm received
a grant from the US Department of Agriculture to conduct
a Nutrient Management Plan for the Farm. This study
was completed in December of this year. It will be used
as a guide to soil management and conserve our excellent
The Community Farm relies entirely on volunteer labor.
The governing board and the Farm manager are volunteers.
There is a core group of approximately 10 to 15 individuals
and families that have, over the years, provided a dependable
stability to the work force. In addition in 2012 we
had some very excellent new volunteers to the Farm,
both adult and young people. We had approximately 150
separate individuals of all ages show up to work. The
Farm is an eligible recipient of student community service
hours. Many private school students are required to
perform community service and over the years we have
participated in that program. (50 to 75 students annually)
Several adults have also participated under the community
On approximately 4 acres, which is entirely surrounded
by 8’ deer fence, we grow the standard variety
of garden vegetables with the exception of corn which
we do not produce. In 2012 which had excellent growing
weather, we grew over 21,000 pounds of vegetables. In
2012 we also added to our honey production. We now have
12 functioning bee hives which produced in excess of
54 gallons of honey.
We also manage in excess of 100 chickens that in 2012
produced over 1400 dozen eggs and provided a nitrogen
rich fertilizer to add to the garden soil. The Farm
also cares for 3 sheep that support the Farm aesthetic
and promote a certain public interest. The remaining
13 acres of hay field produce about 40 tons of hay which
is mowed and baled by a neighboring farmer and the hay
crop is winter fed to a herd of “grass fed”
Belted Galloway beef cattle located on Windmist Farm
also in the Center Island Greenway.
During the last twelve years we have grown more than
160,000 pounds of fresh produce and distributed this
produce at no cost to food pantries and soup kitchens
throughout the State: (Providence McAuley House, Newport
Martin Luther King Center, Peacedale The Storehouse
and Warwick House of Hope. In 2012 we also worked with
volunteers from St. Marks in Jamestown to distribute
fresh produce to people in Jamestown. During the year
members of the JCF Board visited each of the distribution
sites. The Jamestown Press also wrote an excellent article
about these distribution sites and the impact the Community
Farm has on the quality of the food provided. In December
one of our most faithful volunteers also conducted a
food drive at the Farm. Sophie Perrotti organized and
managed a one-day food drive that collected over 400
pounds of food for the RI Food Bank.
One aspect of the Farm that was not anticipated
at the outset and has evolved and grown each year are
the educational opportunities, both formal and informal,
that the Farm provides. In 2012 we sponsored, a seed
planting day at the Farm greenhouse, earth day open
house, a film at the Jamestown Library on the growing
trend of young people in agriculture, seminars on; the
Farm’s photovoltaic power, the barn’s architecture,
beekeeping, chickens, nursery school pumpkin day, pumpkin
hayrides, and a natural wreath making workshop.
Equipment and Farm Infrastructure
In 2012 we completed the construction of the photovoltaic
panels and the roof-water cistern, both funded by a
grant from the Champlin Foundation. The farm now produces
all of the electricity necessary to operate the Farm
and stores all the rainwater necessary to supply the
water for all farm necessities. We completed our first
year in our newly constructed barn and found it to exceed,
both in design and functionality, all of our wishes.
the Farm’s Annual Budget
A major goal of the Farm is to be financially self-sustainable.
That is, to have the Farm generate enough revenue annually
(approximately $4,000) to meet its operating costs of
seed, plants, fuel, etc. Toward that end the Farm sells;
vegetables, eggs and honey from our farm stand. In 2012
the JCF Board approved a fund raising component that
would provide funds for longer term capital improvements
and other more major repairs or expenses. The Jamestown
Community Farm Patron program solicited membership of
individuals and families willing to donate an annual
amount of $100.00. (See the attached treasurer’s
report for all program financial statements) In addition
we continued to have very large donations from individuals
and organizations the largest being from the national
There are two central interwoven and simultaneous missions
of the Farm, critical to its sustainability and its
The mission at the outset to provide fresh produce
to those in need is central to our organization. It
is particularly critical given the outlook of our economy
over the next years. Related missions are to build on
and further develop the educational programs and further
develop the sustainable agriculture opportunities that
have evolved. Consistent with these central missions
the Jamestown Community Farm Incorporated has established
all of the following as goals and will systematically
pursue all of these objectives over the next ten years:
(listed in no particular order)
- Improve the growing methodologies working particularly
toward systems that continue to improve the soil and
minimize the persistent weed and pest problems.
- Provide and strengthen our community service aspect
especially with school educational programs.
- Maintain and improve our equipment and infrastructure..
- Work with and strengthen the Farm’s relationships
with the local and state agricultural community.
- Improve our marketing with the intention that the
produce sales provide a significant portion of our
annual farm operating budget.
- Concentrate some additional effort on increasing
- Continue to develop a plan for the perpetual protection
of the 17 acre property in the event the current owner
decides to sell.