Community Farm celebrates another successful season
Now in its 10th year, the Jamestown Community Farm collected over 300 dozen eggs from 36 chickens, 390 ounces of honey from 100,000 bees and 41 pounds of blackberries, and also grew more than 15,000 pounds of fresh produce this growing season.
The biggest producers were the tomatoes (3,500 lbs.), cucumbers (1,500 lbs.), winter and summer squash (4,200 lbs.) and beans (850 lbs.). All of the vegetables were planted, weeded, harvested, weighed and delivered by volunteers on four acres of beautiful, productive farmland donated by use by Peter and Jean Ceppi.
The farm averages over 150 volunteers of all ages each year. They come primarily, but not exclusively, from Jamestown. Some of the volunteers have come faithfully for the last 10 years from as far away as Charlestown and Portsmouth.
Many of the farm’s workers are retired men and women and many are students who are earning the community service credit required by their schools. Also, there are student groups that have working field trips or class assignments at the farm. St. George’s School sent work parties for the spring planting and the fall harvest. More than 100 St. George’s students participated. Four seniors from North Kingstown High School worked in the early spring mending a deer fence as part of a school project.
Forty-eight students from the Lawn Avenue School fifth-grade class planted rows of pumpkins. Even schools of higher learning were planning to participate, until hurricane warnings cancelled a work party of students from Providence College. And just this past Saturday, 10 members of Newport Boy Scouts Troup 3, under the leadership of Eagle Scout candidate Patrick O’Donnell, worked six hours clearing brush away from the deer fence that surrounds the farm field.
The Jamestown Community Farm can be a valuable resource in teaching students of all ages the value of work. It provides them with the experience of working with others toward a common goal. Some students even enjoy the work, and it is certainly true that the adults working at the farm enjoy the company of the youth.
The farm’s project for the upcoming year is to construct a new barn, and hopefully the community will continue to volunteer and the residents of Jamestown will continue to take pride in the experience of growing food and helping others.