Cover Story

A Legacy of Heritage Livestock at Silk Tree Farm

Endangered and heritage breeds fill the fields in Little Compton


Chickens, cows, pigs – all are pretty standard livestock found at local farms. Nigerian Dwarf Goats? Not so much. At Silk Tree Farm in Little Compton, Cathy Bardsley and Tom Sherman raise endangered and heritage breed livestock including their herd of ADGA registered show quality Nigerian Dwarf Goats as well as Spanish Doe Mounds (goats), Myotonic goats (also known as the fainting goats), Red Dorking chickens, Black Jersey Giant chickens, Red Wattle hogs, Narragansett turkeys and more. The goats provide the family with milk used to make a variety of cheese, goat milk soap and they also make soy candles.  All of the animals are raised at the Little Compton farm on serene pastures leased (along with the on-site farm house), on a conservation easement via The Nature Conservancy. (The purpose of conservation easements is to have protected land for future generations.) Tom and Cathy focus on raising healthy, happy animals that see the sunlight every day and have room to roam. They want to share that ethos with the next generation, so they have partnered with the Met School in Providence to take part in a non-profit mentoring program to teach young students lessons about farming, animal husbandry and where our food comes from. The couple’s line of Silk Tree Farm Goat Milk Soap and Simply Natural soy candles scented only with therapeutic grade, steam distilled essential oils like lavender and fresh lemongrass sage, are popular at area farmer’s markets.

silk tree farm, nigerian dwarf goats, spanish doe mounds, red dorkling, black jersey giants, red wattle hogs, narragansett turkeys, the nature conservancy, cathy bardsley, tom sherman, the bay magazine, andrea mchugh, goat milk soap


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