Country View: Jamie Jones - Jones Family Farm - Shelton, CT
Radio interview source: Jamie Jones, Co-Owner, Jones Family Farms
"Be good to the land, and the land will be good to you." That was the premise Phillip James Jones lived by when he founded his family's dairy farm over 150 years ago in Shelton, Connecticut. Six generations have taken his philosophy seriously as they've expanded the farm to include harvest-your-own Christmas trees, as well as fruits, vegetables, and pumpkins.
Jamie Jones is the latest descendant to operate the farm. He wanted to diversify the business even further, and planted seven-acres of grapes for making wine. In the meantime, he has kept his great-great-great-grandfather's founding motto in mind.
"It's very important how we take care of the land. We rotate our fields, we do a lot of composting," Jamie says. "I'm on a tractor disking in a cover crop of sorghum-sudan grass and we're turning that into the soil in a field that we didn't produce any crops on this year to build organic matter so it can grow a nice field of pumpkins next season."
Jamie says the family feels it's important for their guests to understand what agriculture is all about. They host thousands of school kids and offer farm walks-and-talks. Jamie's mother, Jean, is a registered dietician. She started the Harvest Kitchen Cooking Studio and teaches classes.
"The main principle is teaching people how to eat seasonally, what they can get locally, what's available on the farm," says Jamie. "They're small intimate classes, and also teaches people hands-on. Not just kind of watching, but they can get involved in helping cook and prepare the meal."
Jamie and his wife, Christiana, have three young children. He says he can't wait to see what the 7th generation might bring to the farm.
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