As farmers all over New England were gearing up for a new growing season last year, we embarked on a campaign with Chuck and Livvy Tarleton to protect their beautiful Sunset View Farm. Most recognized by its colorful farmstand filled with delicious organic produce grown a few hundred feet away, the 70-acre parcel is bordered by Route 140 on one side and by the North Central Pathway on the other. Chuck and Livvy knew that if nothing was done to help protect this land, it would quickly become house lots.
As we began our partnership, it became obvious the importance of not only protecting the land, but ensuring it will be passed on to a farmer who will continue the 230-year old legacy of farming this land. In order to protect the land, we partnered with the North County Land Trust to co-hold the CR and then Mount Grace began the work of raising funds for an Option to Purchase at Agricultural Value. This tool ensures the land and its buildings are sold to farmers at an agricultural value. The goal is to keep the land affordable and in the hands of farmers—forever.
Livvy Tarleton reflects on the impact of this campaign, “We know our farm is an important asset to the community because we hear every day from shoppers. We take great delight in knowing that they will always have access to local produce because of this campaign.” The immense generosity of shoppers, community members, and farm conservation supporters throughout the state made this campaign a huge success for local farms and food. Friend of the farm and supporter, Marie Urquhart, explains, “Thanks to the hard work and generosity of many, Sunset View Farm will continue to provide fresh vegetables and fruits to our area. Locally grown produce means this food source is as fresh and nutrient rich as it could be. Can’t get better than that!”
This spring, Sunset View Farm officially became the 4th Whole Farm Forever protected by Mount Grace! This project was supported by the 1772 Foundation, the Bafflin Foundation, the Fields Pond Foundation, and hundreds of members of the community. With the Tarletons and all our supporters, we are thrilled to be able to continue to protect farmland and support local food.
Please support our work of conserving more farm land!