by Keri Biron, Volunteer Writer
If you’re seeking a true farm-to-table experience, look no further than Baffoni’s Poultry Farm in Johnston. This family-run farm, started by Adam Baffoni’s great grandfather Giuseppe in 1935, produces the freshest chicken and turkey for Rhode Island and beyond. Adam is among the fourth generation of Baffonis to contribute, and he has been involved in farm operations periodically since he was a child. After taking a ten-year hiatus to go to college and become a chef, he returned to help the family at the start of the COVID pandemic and has stuck around ever since.
There’s lots to do on the 80-acre farm. In addition to family, the Baffonis have around 40 employees to help keep the farm going. They maintain six large coops to house approximately 20,000 birds. The turkeys, prepped in the summer and fall for Thanksgiving, are innocently eager to greet anyone they see. The chickens, despite being humanely cared for and fed a nutritious all-vegetarian diet, opt to fly the coop, running in the opposite direction when people come near.
Close to 3,600 eggs are collected daily to be packaged and sold in their store, along with freshly prepared poultry and a variety of vegetables harvested from the ever-growing gardens and greenhouse. Produce is grown year-round, sustained by Adam’s cousin Joe. Depending on the season, you’ll find Swiss chard, kale, spinach, garlic, onions, peas, cucumbers, summer squash, tomatoes, eggplant and more.
“We try to keep it very diverse, it’s good for the soil,” Adam explains. “And what the chickens do that’s helpful for us, is they fertilize it all!” Recently, they launched a new product called Fertile Underground Soil Food. The fertilizer is sold in small packs, perfect for fertilizing individually potted plants.
The farm-to-table concept holds true for everything sold on the farm. Baffoni’s Poultry Farm is the only USDA certified farm in Southern New England equipped with the on-site means to process and prepare poultry ready to sell. They provide only fresh (never frozen) chicken and turkey. In addition to processing roughly 1,500 chickens a day from their own farm, they can assist other farms in Rhode Island — as well as farmers coming to them from Massachusetts and Connecticut. They also sell wholesale directly to local restaurants, including Broadway Bistro in Providence, Coast Guard House Restaurant in Narragansett, and Howie’s Restaurant in North Providence to name a few.
And Baffoni’s has been a longtime Market Mobile partner — reaching additional wholesale customers like grocers and institutions, as well as home delivery and curbside pickup customers, through Farm Fresh RI’s transparent local distribution service. In fact, the Baffonis have been partnering with Farm Fresh since it started back in 2004.
“Farm Fresh provides something really special, which is to have a hub [for local farms and consumers],” Adam says. “It gives people a certain level of convenience. You’re able to shop for all your local products without having to know ten different farmers and drive all around the state.”
Farm Fresh also fosters relationships between farmers. The Baffoni family recently attended Farm Fresh RI’s annual Local Food Fest on August 9. “It was awesome!” Adam shares. “I got to see so many farmers that I know from coming [to the farm] to have their birds [processed], and so many chefs that I know. It really emphasizes the community aspect of local food.”
The Baffonis are continuously working to grow their services and expand their infrastructure. In addition to the recent expansion of their store, they are planning to build a new processing plant to keep up with the demand to produce only fresh poultry, and to maintain the ability to service other farms. Adam explains, “We really want to see a diversity of farms flourish, because the best thing that could possibly happen is if there’s enough farms in Rhode Island to feed the people in Rhode Island.”
Visit Baffoni’s Poultry Farm and see what you can bring home to your family’s table. They also offer home delivery to most of Rhode Island. Check out the options available to order and join their email list to receive updates and special offers!