While its name may be changing to Stout Oak Farm, the scenic, rolling fields of Creamery Brook Farm in Brentwood will forever remain as open space, protected from subdivision and development, and conserved for agriculture, wildlife, and water quality.
In late January, the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire, the town of Brentwood and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service acquired a conservation easement from the heirs of Lawrence Lyford on the 56.5-acre farm on Middle Road (Route 111A), ensuring its agricultural fields are forever conserved.
Funding for the protection of Creamery Brook Farm was provided by a grant of $253,000 from the U.S. Farm and Ranchland Protection Program, administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The town of Brentwood provided $289,843 from its Open Space Bond, first approved in 2003.
Immediately following the sale of the conservation easement, the Lyford heirs sold the farm to Kate and Jeff Donald, an established young farming couple, most recently operating from leased land in Epping.
“Conserving this productive farmland and transferring it ownership to a young farming couple is simply the best possible outcome,” said Brian Hart, executive director of the Southeast Land Trust, a nonprofit conservation organization based in Exeter that orchestrated the conservation deal and its conveyance to a farmer. “By doing so, we’re meeting the community’s desire to preserve important lands, helping meet the strong interest in local food by conserving farm soils, and getting the farm into the hands of a successful farmer.”
Kate Donald has been an organic vegetable farmer for the past 12 years, operating Stout Oak Farm and actively involved with Seacoast Eat Local. At their new location at the historic Creamery Brook Farm, the Donalds will grow four acres of vegetables for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares, farmers’ markets, and local restaurants. They also plan to open a new farm store, which will be stocked with their vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, and seedlings for home vegetable gardeners, as well as other products raised by their friends at other local farms. More information on their plans and goals can be viewed at their Web site, www.stoutoakfarm.com.
“As new stewards of this historic farm, we are committed to taking good care of the land, and providing delicious healthy food for our community,” Kate Donald said. “We are thrilled to see this land conserved, and grateful for the opportunity to bring this land back into production.” Read more…
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Food For Thought…
- "In my view, homeland security derives from having enough potatoes."
- - Barbara Kingsolver,
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle