Heather & Don Minto
455 North Road
Jamestown, RI 02835
The Watson Farm is a 265 acre working farm that overlooks Dutch Harbor and the mouth of Narragansett Bay. It is preserved by Historic New England, one of the oldest and largest regional historic preservation organizations in America, based in Boston.
The farm was bequeathed to Historic New England by Tom Carr Watson in 1980 with the stipulation that it be maintained as a working farm in perpetuity. Five generations of the Watson Family have owned the property but interestingly enough, the farm has had a long history of tenant farmers operating the farm.
Heather and Don Minto have been the resident tenant farmers since 1980 when they began the process of bringing back the farm to full production, while providing public programs, educational tours, and public access to the farm. The Watson Farm is open for self guided tours for visitors to enjoy the 1796 Farmstead, the pastoral setting of the livestock grazing operation, the extensive views of the bay, and to explore the shoreline of the West Passage of the bay. There is a small fee for visitors,but Historic New England members are free and are offered special programs at the farm. The farm is open from June 1st through October 15th every Tuesday,Thursday and Sunday from 1-5.
Today the Watson Farm is home to a herd of about 100 Heritage Red Devon Cattle that are raised 100% on grass and marketed exclusively as Conanicut Island Grass Fed Beef. Heather and Don also have about 100 sheep which are raised for their Wool which is marketed as ”The Conanicut Island Blanket” as well as “Rhody Warm Blankets and for Conanicut Island Grass Fed Lamb. The farm is also home to Blue and Dublin, the working border collies that keep the farms various livestock in line.
The Minto Family has been producing grass fed beef and lamb for over 30 years. They have worked continuously to build awareness of the importance of farmland preservation and the need to build and grow our local agriculture. They have promoted direct marketing for all Rhode Island Farmers and were instrumental in creating the Rhode Island Raised Livestock Association, an organization of over 100 livestock farmers in the state.
The Watson Farm offers their products directly from the farm on selected days each week throughout the year. The farm store is open on Thursdays from 3-6 or by appointment. As demand increases for their local, healthy, tasty, grass fed products, the hours of operation will increase.
Products & Hours
Presently the Watson Farm’s Conanicut Island Grass Fed Beef and Lamb and the Wool blankets can be purchased during the Summer and Fall every Saturday from 9-12 at The Coastal Grower Farmers Market at Casey Farm in Saunderstown. The Coastal Growers also operates a Winter Market at the LaFayette Mill just outside Wickford from November til March every Saturday from 10-1.
The Watson Farm kicks off it’s summer season with our annual Sheep Shearing Day which always takes place the Saturday before Mothers Day.
Contact Don or Heather at 401-423-0005 for more information or email at Watsonfarm1796@yahoo.com