Farming in suburbia with agritainment & diversity

Louis & Jane Escobar at Escobar Farm in Portsmouth, RI

Louis & Jane Escobar at Escobar Farm in Portsmouth, RI.

When asked if he always wanted to be a dairy farmer, Louis Escobar laughed and offered a resounding, “YES! I’ve never worked a day doing anything else.” His parents have been farming this land since 1937. Jane said she started dreaming of becoming a farmer when she was five years old. Louis and Jane Escobar run an award-winning, 96-acre dairy farm in Portsmouth, RI.

Diversity

Like a good stock portfolio, this farm is successful because it is diversified; it operates a variety of enterprises. RI’s Right to Farm Act provides for a variety of side businesses and activities that keep farms viable businesses. The Escobar’s daughter, Lori, manages the Corn Maze; their grandson, Jason manages the farm. They will take over the farm some day. Longtime employee, Heidi Small, is the Herd Manager.

To support the farm, family members manage a variety of other businesses including a Bed & Breakfast run by “adopted” brother Stuart MacNaught, a Christmas Tree Farm, and a Pick-your-own Pumpkin Patch. Chickens provide eggs for sale all summer long. The Escobars also breed and sell Portuguese Water Dogs. [Learn more here.]

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About Sanne Kure-Jensen

Sanne Kure-Jensen is a frequent contributor to Country Folks, Country Folks Grower and Wine & Grape Grower bringing regional and national attention to agriculture in RI and across southern New England. She has also written for newsletters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Holistic Management International (HMI), RI Beekeepers Association and RI Tree Council. Read Sanne’s work at her Sustainable Living page at examiner.com. Sanne has written successful grant applications for alternative energy projects, staff and board training, products and services. Clients include agricultural businesses, farm stand/markets and non-profit organizations. Recent successful grant projects include a $90,000 USDA Rural Development‘s Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), $10,000 Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer and $20,000 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). Sanne is the part-time Administrator for NOFA/RI, a Rhode Island Certified Horticulturist and beekeeper. She is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and has lectured across southern New England on Beekeeping, Native Pollinators and Ecological Landscape Design. Learn more about the NOFA’s Land Care programs or contact Sanne for a garden consultation through the NOFA/RI website.
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