Take a self-guided tour of Historic New England's Watson Farm in Jamestown, Rhode Island. The historic 1789 family farm is open seasonally. The farm also hosts a series of seasonal events, included a guided historical walking tour with the managers of the property. We joined the current managers, Don and Heather, and their successor Max to learn about the sustainable farming practices they use with their Red Devon cattle and sheep herd.
Watson Farm is a 265 acre property and a working farm. Historic New England, known for preserving unique historical homes and properties across New England, acquired the farm in 1979. Since then, the home and agricultural landscape has been revitalized and a working model of producing sustainable, healthy food for the local economy has been implemented.
On our tour, the managers had many historical facts about the land and how it was farmed by the Narragansett prior to European fishermen and farmers in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
You can walk past the livestock grazing, down through the farm fields all the way to Narragansett Bay. Our favorite spot on the property was the highest point in the fields where you could see the whole mouth of the bay, and straight out to Block Island.
By working to maintain healthy animals and land, Historic New England is encouraging a positive ecological footprint and environmental preservation.
The farm is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays From June 1 through October 15. Check out Historic New England for more information about the farm and to learn about their annual Sheep Shearing Day and other events. You can also find out more about the more than thirty other properties across New England that Historic New England maintains by visiting their site.