2009-08-27 / Letters to the Editor

Godena Farm should stay a working farm

The recent article in the Jamestown Press relative to the Conanicut Island Land Trust’s acquisition of the Godena Farm was on the agenda of the regularly scheduled meeting of the Farm Viability Committee of the Conanicut Grange. The mission of the Farm Viability Committee, which has as its membership all island farmers, is to work to insure that local agriculture remains strong in the town of Jamestown and that the citizens of Jamestown continue to have the option of local fresh farm produce for their table.

We noted in the article that the president of the Conanicut Island Land Trust said that the Trust was going to explore different options for the future of the farm and that the Trust would be consulting with experts to gain their opinion on the future use of the farm and farmland.

The Godena Farm has been farmed for hundreds of years and the Farm Viability Committee believes strongly that consistent with Mr. Godena’s wishes, the farm should stay in agriculture. The land is cleared and much of the necessary agricultural infrastructure is in place. Although some improvements need to be made, the land could relatively easily be grazed by local livestock and would support hay production, with little initial investment. The barns and outbuildings are well built and entirely suitable to provide the necessary infrastructure for a small well-run farm. Although the house is very small, there is tremendous architectural expertise available in Jamestown that could transform this small home into a modern model of “less is more” living.

We were glad to see that the Land Trust intends to consult experts and we are hopeful that the Land Trust recognizes the hundreds of years of agricultural experience that exists in the men and women presently farming on Jamestown soil. We would look forward to the opportunity to meet and work with the Conanicut Island Land Trust to insure the Godena Farm remains a valued part of the island agricultural community.
Bob Sutton
Conanicut Grange

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