Archive for the ‘farmland’ Category

Creamery Brook Farm in Brentwood to be Conserved!

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

photo_lyford_farm4_reduced_size.jpgCongratulations to all involved in the conservation of Creamery Brook Farm in Brentwood, and for making it possible for a new generation to farm there!


Agreement Reached to Conserve Creamery Brook Farm in Brentwood


Landmark farm to be conserved, sold to local farmer!


The Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire announced it has reached an agreement with the owners of the Creamery Brook Farm to ensure its agricultural fields are forever conserved. Under the terms of the agreement, the Land Trust, in partnership with the Town of Brentwood, will acquire a conservation easement on the property’s 55 acres of fields, wetlands, and forest.


 “This productive farm is a significant, scenic landscape in Brentwood,” explains Brian Hart, Executive Director of the Southeast Land Trust, a non-profit conservation organization based out of Exeter who negotiated the agreement with the family. “Under this agreement, the fields and forests will be conserved through a conservation easement and then the conserved land will be sold to a local farmer. It’s a win-win for the landowner, the community, the farmer, and lovers of local food.”


…Once the conservation easement is purchased by the Land Trust and Town, the now protected farm land and farm house would be sold by the Lyfords to farmers Kate and Jeff Donald. The Donalds currently operate Stout Oak Farm in Epping and have been active in the local food movement, volunteering and serving on the board of Seacoast Eat Local. This young farming couple is familiar with Brentwood, as Kate farmed for five years at Willow Pond Community Farm, a community-supported-agriculture (CSA) farm in the town.


 “This is truly an amazing opportunity to be able to purchase a farm here on the Seacoast where we can put down roots, continue to grow vegetables for the local community, and invest in the long-term success of local agriculture,” explained Kate, who also thanked Brentwood’s residents for their continued support of local farms. To read more… 


For more information:

Film: “Meet Your Farmer”, June 5

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

43.jpgThree local land trusts have joined together to host a free screening of “Meet Your Farmer” at York Public Library on Sunday, June 5th at 7 p.m. In addition to the screening, the program includes a discussion with local guest farmers, and free popcorn!


Film: “Meet Your Farmer”

Gateway to Maine: Outside

York Public Library, 15 Long Sands Rd, York, ME

Sunday, June 5, 2011

7 p.m.

Free and open to the public


“I think everyone really wants to be a farmer,” says Aaron Bell in one of the eight short films that is to screen at the York Public Library on Sunday, June 5th, at 7 p.m. Bell represents the 8th generation of his family working Tide Mill Farm in Edmunds.  “Meet Your Farmer” commissioned by Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) features eight short films showing some of the challenges and opportunities facing Maine farms. The films offer a glimpse at many different types of farms in the state, from Aroostook to York County, from potatoes to dairy, from large commercial operations to small farms that sell directly to local people.


Hosted by Great Works RegionalKittery and York Land Trusts, as part of the Gateway to Maine: Outside public programs collaborative, the program will feature the film screening and remarks from York farmers, John and Abe Zacharias from Zach’s Farm and Margot Simonds and Robert Munn from Rumsey Farm. This event is free event is free and open to the public. No advanced registration is required.


For more information:

Conservation Celebration & Local Food Cookout, June 4

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

2010-10_ei01_061.jpgThe Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire is celebrating the conservation of Scamman Farm in Stratham with a day full of fun activities, including a cookout featuring local food, on Saturday, June 4th:


Conservation Celebration and Cookout

Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire

Scamman Farm, Stratham, NH

Saturday, June 4, 2011

$10 Adults, $5 Children over six

RSVP by May 27th


Join us on June 4th to celebrate the more than 850 acres of open spaces conserved in 2010 at our Conservation Celebration and Cookout at the Scamman Farm in Stratham!


Lorraine Stuart Merrill, Stratham farmer and current Commissioner of the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, will share her thoughts on the local food movement, land conservation, and how these two vibrant efforts are interrelated and interdependent. You will enjoy a local food-focused cookout, with hamburgers from Stuart Farm, sausages from New Roots Farm, and salad greens from Barker’s Farm! After lunch, join landowner Doug Scamman for a walking tour of the 206-acre Scamman Farm, protected in early 2011.


The cost to attend the Annual Cookout is $10 per adult, $5 per child seven and over (children under 6 are free). Pre-registration is required. Please reserve your spot by May 27th by emailing Karen McCormack or calling her at 603-778-6088. Please specify if you intend to join us for the field trip and whether you require a vegetarian meal.


For program and more information:

Deb-Tone Farm Protected!

Friday, April 15th, 2011


Congratulations to Great Works Regional Land Trust in helping to conserve local farmland!


GWRLT’s purchase of a conservation easement on Deb-Tone Farm was joyfully completed on March 23rd. A small celebration at the North Berwick Town Hall after the closing gave way to a room full of supporters enjoying Ken Goodwin’s storytelling and sharing the success of the project.


n 2009, Great Works Regional Land Trust undertook the Deb-Tone Farm Conservation Project in order to help Ken and Marion Goodwin of North Berwick conserve the farm where they’ve lived since 1954.


Now the project is complete, thanks to supported by the Town of North Berwick (and the voters!), the Federal Farm and Ranchland Protection Program, the Thomas W. Haas fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Hussey Seating, Kennebunk Savings Bank, Fields Pond Foundation, Maine Farmland Trust, and many devoted donors and volunteers. The success of last year’s yard sale and bicycle ride may have started new traditions for the Trust.


Deb-Tone Farm spreads out along Route 4 North, looking off toward Cabbage Hill and the hills of Mt. Agamenticus, and is one of the few places along our roads with a panoramic view. A wooden sign says “Milking Shorthorns”.


As an active agricultural presence, the farm is an important gateway to North Berwick and is surrounded by other land with conservation potential. The purchase of a conservation easement on the farm transferred the development rights to GWRLT, so that, in the words of a Goodwin great-grandaughter, “no one can build houses on my Grampy’s farm.” Read more


For more information about Great Works Regional Land Trust, visit

100,000 Acre Campaign to Save Maine Farmland

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

conservedfarms11-18-09.jpgTo protect Maine’s farmland, the Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) announced its 100,000 Acre Campaign at the 2011 Agricultural Trades Show in Augusta last week. MFT called on all Mainers to take action in preserving 100,000 acres of Maine farmland by 2014:


Maine Farmland Trust Launches 100,000 Acre Campaign


Farming in Maine is growing and has the potential to be a major economic engine in the future, but only if Maine protects the land base. As much as a third of Maine’s best farmland will be in transition in the next 10 years, as aging farmers sell or die. Farming in Maine is well poised for a bright future, but not unless the land base in protected.


Maine Farmland Trust estimates that the cost of protecting 100,000 acres is $50 million.  “This may sound like a big number,” said Taylor Mudge, a former farmer and founder of the State of Maine Cheese Company, who is heading-up the Trust’s fundraising efforts. “But the economic impact from that 100,000 acres is expected to exceed $50 million each year-so this is really a good investment.”


Maine Farmland Trust has set an initial goal of raising $10 million, which is then expected to leverage an additional $40 million. It’s the first $10 million which is critical, said Mudge.


Today’s press conference not only outlined Maine Farmland Trust’s plans, but announced that the organization had already raised $5 million toward its initial $10 million goal.  But Mudge stressed that this campaign is not about raising money to protect, “It’s about making sure our rural economy thrives.”


MFT’s Executive Director John Piotti further explains, “To secure farming’s future, we need to protect more farms.  That will assure that the land is there to grow food and available to future farmers at its value as farmland, not house lots.  We invite all Mainers to join us in this mission.”


Maine Farmland Trust is uniquely positioned to tackle the extraordinary challenge of protecting Maine’s most vulnerable farmland. Since its inception in 1999, MFT has helped protect over two-thirds of all the farmland that has been protected in Maine, often by working in partnership with local or regional land trusts. But that only translates into about 22,000 acres, or less than 2% of Maine’s farmland. Much more is needed. MFT is now taking its work to the next level, with the goal of protecting 100,000 acres by 2014.


Maine Farmland Trust seeks to secure 100,000 acres of Maine farmland by 2014 through five separate programs: Purchased Agricultural Easements, Donated Agricultural Easements, Buy/Protect/Sell, FarmLink, and Farm Viability.

As just one example of over a hundred completed projects, Dick Perkins from Charleston outlined how Maine Farmland Trust has helped save his family’s dairy operation. Like many dairy farmers, the Perkins rely heavily on large tracks of cropland they do not own. When they were about to lose some choice land, they approached Maine Farmland Trust, which stepped in and bought another farm in the area. The Perkins now lease that farm, with a plan to buy it soon.


The availability of this land not only helped Dick Perkins out of a tough spot, but made it possible for his two children to join the business. “We were in a real pickle,” explains Perkins, “We needed the land and Maine Farmland Trust’s assistance ensured that our farm could continue for another generation.”


Maine Farmland Trust’s 100,000 Acre Campaign aims to protect the underlying land base. This is the only way to ensure that existing farms have a chance to expand, and that young farmers can afford to enter the field. “Preserving farmland keeps working farms working—feeding us and our economy.  There is no more important work in Maine agriculture today,” stresses John Piotti.


To find out more about the campaign and how you can help, please visit Maine Farmland Trust >