Thinking Local — Farms and Food

Great Works Regional Land Trust’s summer newsletter focuses on the connection between land and food:

Thinking Local — Farms and Food

It’s hard to miss the local foods movement in our area. The number of farmers markets has tripled, including several highly popular winter markets. “Farm to Table” dinners abound. Conversations are overheard about shares in CSAs, about where to get locally raised meat/eggs/apples/potatoes/the best tender greens/goat cheese/yogurt and so on. Our communities want good food, and they want to support the local economy.

This level of support for the growers of food translates into appreciation of the need for land on which to grow food. That’s where land trusts can make a difference, by holding voluntary landowner agreements whereby land is still privately owned, but the development rights have been erased. This becomes insurance for the future – land that will forever be available to farm, or provide timber products, and protection for our drinking water, our fishing holes, and our estuaries. These are resources that will remain to benefit all, into the future.

As our Board President Tin Smith reports, “For the first time in a generation the number of local farms and farmers is increasing.” That is good news. The other part of the story is that support for farmland preservation and the consumption of local goods is still needed. The more we support local agriculture and other business, the better off we are. It’s as simple as that.

Building on twenty-five years in farmland conservation, Great Works continues to work in our six-town area to protect other agricultural lands, and needs your support. “My feeling about the land is that I have to nurture it…I need the help of a community of people,” said Connie Weeks of Backfields Farm, and donor of the first conservation easement held by Great Works.

It is our hope that you get to know your local farmers and purveyors. It is our hope that you share our commitment to keeping land available for farming, for forestry, for recreation, for wildlife, and for scenic beauty.

To read more, download PDF of Summer 2012 Newsletter >

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