The Jones Farm began in 1848.
Philip James Jones, a Welsh-Irish immigrant, purchased the land from the Jeremiah Shelton family and engaged in general farming. He sold beef, lamb, eggs, and apples from his horse-drawn cart to the city folks of Derby. Philip James loved these Connecticut hillsides and his motto, "Be good to the land and the land will be good to you," has motivated all succeeding generations of Jones farmers.
His son, William Henderson Jones, joined him in farming and he eventually established a dairy farm. Philip James and William built our oldest farm buildings in the Christmas yard area, including the family homestead, the dairy barn, the carriage house, and the ice house. They were constructed in the late 1800's. Many of our stonewalls were also built at that time.
William's son, Philip Hubbell Jones continued to develop the dairy operation, then called Broad Acres Farm, and was known as a wise and progressive farmer. His son, Philip Hubbell Jones, Jr., didn't like milking cows, but ran the dairy farm with his father while growing trees in the back pastures as a hobby. In 1944, Philip sold a dozen Christmas trees to friends. Philip, Jr. and his wife, Elisabeth, became pioneers in developing and promoting cut-your-own Christmas trees at the farm. The dairy herd was sold in the mid-1960's. In 1994, Philip and Elisabeth celebrated 50 years of operating the Christmas Tree Farm. In his semi-retirement, Grandpa Jones ran a part-time custom sawmill business.
Their son, Terry Hubbell Jones, began growing strawberries as a pick-your-own crop during college. After graduation from the University of New Hampshire in 1969, Terry started the blueberries. The farm has continued to grow and prosper as Philip and Terry have worked together. In 1985, Terry and his wife, Jean Crum Jones, expanded the farm by purchasing nearby farm acreage (at subdivision prices), bringing the total amount of land now farmed to over 400 acres. They started the harvest-your-own pumpkin patch at Pumpkinseed Hill in 1985. In 2009, Jean returned to her passionate interest in food, as a professional registered dietician and community nutritionist, by opening the Harvest Kitchen to teach the joy of cooking using fresh, local ingredients.
In 1995, the farm's name was updated to Jones Family Farms to reflect the diversity of crops being sold. Philip Jamison (Jamie) Jones, of the sixth generation, graduated from Cornell University in 1998. Jamie started the Jones Winery and continues to oversee many of the farm’s other operations. Gwyn Jones, also of the sixth generation, graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2002 with a degree in graphic design. She is responsible for creating the farm and winery logos, all the wine labels, as well as farm publications and packaging for special farm products.
The seventh generation has joined the family. Jamie and his wife Christiana Soares Jones have three children, Jackson, Sam and Juliet. They enjoy learning and playing on the farm like the many generations have before them.
In 2015, our beloved family and farm patriarch Philip passed away, just shy of his 97 birthday. He will be dearly missed but he left a tremendous legacy that the farm and his farming family will continue for future generations.