Red Fire Farm, a sprawling organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm that serves more than 1,500 members, is rooted in the famously fertile Connecticut River Valley soils in Montague. The first of Mount Grace’s partnerships to create a “whole farm forever,” this important farmland resource will remain undeveloped and affordable to farmers into the future.
Red Fire Farm is open to the public for the purchase of organic produce through a CSA share or at their farm stores, Red Fire North (located at 485 Federal Street, Montague, MA 01351) and Granby (located at 7 Carver Street, Granby, MA 01033). More information can be found at https://www.redfirefarm.com/
Shared ownership – Mount Grace Conservation Land Trust owns the land and Ryan and Sarah Voiland own the buildings
1989 (Tuvek APR), 2011 (Blue Meadow APR)
In 2009, Ryan and Sarah Voiland, owners of Granby’s Red Fire Farm, purchased the Tuvek Farm property in Montague, with the intent to gradually move much of their farm’s operations north. The Tuvek Farm had already been permanently protected with an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) held by the MA Department of Agricultural Resources in 1989. An APR is a type of conservation easement that guarantees the land will remain in use for farming. Soon after purchasing the Tuvek Farm, almost another 14 acres of prime farming soils and additional farm buildings became available from Brian and Alice McGowan of Blue Meadow Nurseries in Montague. For twenty years, Blue Meadow had provided extraordinary ornamental plants to gardeners all over the northeast. To complete the purchase, the Voilands turned to Mount Grace.
In 2011, Mount Grace worked with the couple to protect the newest addition to the farm with an APR. Additionally, Mount Grace partnered with the Voilands over several years to develop a ground lease—a cutting-edge model of shared ownership that will serve not only the current farm operation but will continue for future farmers as well—to Keep Red Fire Farm a Whole Farm Forever. In 2017, the 124 acres of already protected land was conveyed to Mount Grace Farms LLC. As the owner of the land, Mount Grace will continue its longstanding practice of paying property taxes to the town at the agricultural use rate through the Chapter 61 current use enrollment program.