Hopkins Southdowns in North Scituate, RI
Some of what we grow is available year-round.
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Hopkins Southdowns was established in 1980 by Donald and Debra Hopkins, both of whom had been extremely active participants in the raising of purebred sheep as youth. Donnie and Debbie built their flock based on structural soundness, breed character, natural thickness and adequate size. With this in mind they selected superior genetics from Snow White, University of Connecticut, Deacon Acres, Kenyon Farms, Kwisnek and Cole. Since the foundation was laid, few females have been added to flock, however they have purchased several rams from FR Farms, MB Genetics, Splendorview, and B&B Howard to compliment the ewes they currently have.
The farm has been in the Hopkins family for over 100 years. They started raising sheep in 1970, and today five family members live on the farm, and three work with the sheep. Eight of their forty acres are in pasture, on which they keep 40 brood ewes and produce over 50 lambs a year. The ewes are pastured during the summer and participate in rotational grazing, alternating across their four pastures, to keep down the parasites and to help out the grass growth. No hormones are fed. In the warmer months the most popular sheep cuts are chops or ribs, for grilling, whereas in the winter, when stews are more appropriate, shanks are called for. The popularity of lamb as a meat source has climbed recently thanks to exotic, extraterritorial cooking methods.
Now, aside from raising their own sheep, Deborah’s full-time job is registering sheep, which she began doing in 1998. She is also the Treasurer of the RI Sheep Co-op and is involved in Rhody Warm blankets.
The Hopkins family has been involved in the sheep industry locally and nationally for over 40 years. It has been and continues to be a great experience and lifestyle for all of them.
Bold foods are in season now according to our Harvest Calendar. Call to find out exact availability. Every farm and every season are unique. Most farms are also residences. Unless Farmstand or Pick Your Own hours are noted, please be respectful and call ahead before going to the farm.
Farm Fresh RI regularly revises the Local Food Guide with new information.
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