Round up to Preserve Farmland

No Farms – No Food!

During September, our co-op gives you the opportunity to round up your change to benefit the Monadnock Conservancy’s Farmland Preservation Program.

Many of our shoppers’ favorite local farms have benefited from this program and could not supply us enough product, or at all, without it! Farms include: Tracies Community Farm, Manning Hill Farm, Picadilly Farm, Walpole Valley Farms, Boggy Meadow Farm and Mayfair Farm.

The Monadnock Conservancy is a community-based nonprofit land conservation trust. They hold permanent conservation agreements on more than 220 properties — nearly 20,000 acres in 28 towns across the Monadnock Region! Conserving farmland is a major priority for the Conservancy; they work with farmers and communities to ensure the region’s prime farmland soils and fields stay open and productive permanently. Often, when farmland changes hands without a conservation easement, the farmer cannot afford not to sell to the highest bidder, who is almost always a developer rather than another farmer.

Bob Moore looks over his property, which has been in his family since 1921 when it was run as a dairy farm until 1969, as Bob switched to dealing cattle. He and his wife, Elaine, also keep a large vegetable garden.

In addition to farmland conservation, the Conservancy also does the important work of pairing conservation landowners with farmers who need land that is accessible and affordable. This fulfills a great need for new, young farmers. They also created the Farmland Disaster Relief Fund which provides grants to assist with well repair, grain bills, seeds, plants, equipment repair and more. So far, the fund has assisted 10 local farmers who were severely affected by last year’s drought.

A farm road leads to hay fields on conservation land in Swanzey owned by the Adams family of Windyhurst Farm, who hay there each summer to feed their cow herd at the main farm in Westmoreland. Photo courtesy Monadnock Conservancy/© Stacy Gambrel