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.
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. Twelve of their forty acres are in pasture, on which they keep 80 brood ewes and produce over 100 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, Debrs’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.