Mount Grace has now completed a fundraising campaign to permanently protect Sunset View Farm in Winchendon in partnership with farmers Chuck and Livvy Tarleton.
Sunset View Farm is on Route 140 just past the "right to farm community" sign on the town line. The farm has been an iconic part of the landscape for 200+ years, providing fresh-picked, seasonal local produce including tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, and even maple syrup made in the farm's sugar shack!
New England's farms are under threat: according to a 2017 farmland inventory, 71% of Winchendon’s farmland is not protected; and a recent study by the American Farmland Trust and Land for Good suggests that a third of Massachusetts farmers will retire in the next ten years.
But thanks to an outpouring of community support, including more than 200 gifts from Winchendon and surrounding towns, Mount Grace has helped protect the 70-acre property to ensure it will always be operated as a farm. An Option to Purchase at Agricultural Value (OPAV) held by Mount Grace means the next generation of farmers can purchase the land together with the house and other infrastructure at an affordable price--keeping Sunset View Farm a whole farm forever.
"After 40 years, we’ve come to realize how important it is for the surrounding communities to have a farm stand that values fresh, home grown produce," says Livvy Tarleton. "We hope that this tradition can continue far into the future thanks to Mount Grace’s stewardship."