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Hill Farm in Foster, RI


Founded in 2003, Hill Farm is a 14 acre farm run by Louis & Maria Vinagro.

Some of what we grow is available year-round.
203 Hartford Pike
Foster, RI

map | farms nearby

the story behind our farm

6 miles from Foster, RI 02825
(401) 647-1569
(401) 300-1051
Fax (401) 647-2379

E-mail fcrecycling@aol.com preferred

 

For Businesses and Institutional customers:

A little about Hill Farm
All our animals are raised naturally without hormones or anitbiotics. Active members of the RI Raised Livestock Association (RIRLA)

Fruit

Dairy + Eggs

Meat

Pet Food

Breeding Stock

Farm Fresh RI regularly updates the Local Food Guide. Let Farm Fresh RI know if something is inaccurate.

Farm Profile: Hill Farm by Angelica Sullam
Published: July 22, 2010

Foster, RI - When I drove to Hill Farm, I turned into a driveway where a small path cuts through the forest. Surrounded by vegetation, a small clearing opens up where there are tall native trees are on the right, and there are blueberry bushes to the left. Over to the left, were two little boys and Louis, the owner of Hill Farm, picking blueberries. It was a bit difficult to park because two guinea hens were very interested in my tires and not very intimidated by my car. The hens roam free at Hill Farm. Once out of the car, there is no evidence that this is actually a farm. The pigs and cows are not in clear view, and there is no scent that gives away their location either. After orienting myself, I started walking back to the blueberries. The two boys came running towards me. They were very excited to show their newly acquired treasures, tons of blueberries. Welcome to Hill Farm, a beautiful, highly sustainable family farm in Foster, RI.

Louis and Maria Vinagro founded Hill Farm in 2003. Louis grew up on a pig farm and wanted the same experience for his children. So, they bought 14 acres of land and now raise pigs, cows, guinea hens, and chickens in a natural environment. The guinea hens walk around the farm uncaged, and the pigs and cows have rotating pens in the forest. The pigs are not fed anything outside of their natural diet, and since the land is so healthy, the pigs can obtain most of their food through the grass, roots, and vegetation on the forest floor! Louis moves the pens frequently, and he plants seeds in the old pens to make sure that the land remains healthy and fertile. In addition, as the purebred Berkshire pigs grow, the size of their pen increases in order to make sure that they always have more then enough room to move around and play.

I was surprised by how happy these pigs were. They ran around playing in the dirt, drinking water, and they would come up to Lou to be pet. In one pen, Louis got inside the pen to wake-up the two- hundred seventy-five pound hogs! Next to the pen for the larger pigs was a fenced off grassy area. Louis explained that that area was where the pigs were during the winter. If he hadn't told me, I would not have known that this grassy area was muddy a few months ago. He had living proof that when pens were moved frequently, the natural vegetation was able to grow back quickly and healthily.

The Vinagros have a similar set up for their fours cows. The cows graze leisurely on a vast fenced-in pasture. These animals are never fed grain, and they happily live off of the grass. Louis smiled saying, “I never mow the lawn!” When the grass gets high, he moves the cows there, and they do the job for him!

The Vinagro family has an admirable relationship with their farm. There is a mutual respect between the family, the animals, and the land. They respect the land, and as a result, the soil remains fertile, and the grass grows back quickly and rich in nutrients. They treat their pigs and cows with care, and the animals are genuinely happy, healthy, excited, and curious to interact with people. In addition, Hill Farm is also a member of the Rhode Island Raised Livestock Association, which is a USDA meat-processing facility for local RI farmers; from beginning to end, Hill Farm's products remains local, small-scale, and sustainable. Hill Farm's treatment of their animals and the environment pays off too; the farm sustains 50% of the family's agrarian needs. Louis proudly, and accurately, states that the best meal he's ever had was right here at Hill Farm.

Lou continues with his dedication towards the environment by also running Full Circle Recycling in Rhode Island. Lou also provides free recycling to the Farm Fresh farmers' markets. You can find Hill Farm products at these summer farmers markets in Rhode Island: Fisherman's Memorial State Park, Goddard State Park, Armory Park, and Scituate.

Even though I was a stranger visiting Hill Farm, Lou treated me with great hospitality. As I left, he gave me a huge bag of freshly picked blueberries. And as I drove home eating - mind you, the best blueberries in my life - I began to think that eating locally is the good life: freshly picked food, the ability to shake the hand that feeds me, living fewer than thirty minutes away from my food, and knowing that this little slice of heaven wasn't hurting the environment either.