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Property Description & History
Located in both Hamilton and Topsfield, the property lies between the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary and Bradley Palmer State Park. The 148-acre Green Meadows Farm & Vineyard Hill represent some of the most resource-rich, scenic and important agricultural land in all of Essex County.
The property traces its 20th history to 1928 when Major George S. Patton and his wife Beatrice had one priority when they went house hunting.
They wanted a place with a horse stables and ample land to support their love of show jumping and fox hunting. The Pattons called it “Green Meadows” and settled in with a trove of antiques and military artifacts collected by the couple in their wide travels.
Their son, George Patton IV, retired to Green Meadows as an Army Major General in 1980. He started a pick-your-own blueberry business that in time evolved into an organic produce farm, the first of its kind in the area.
After the General’s death in 2004, his wife Joanne established a thriving Community Supported Agriculture collective known as Green Meadows Farm.
Since the 1980s, when former Greenbelt President Ed Becker toured the property in the back of Major General Patton’s pickup truck, this amazing land had been a high conservation priority for Greenbelt.
GREEN MEADOWS FARM: Known for years as one of the few certified organic farms on the North Shore, raising vegetables, fruits and heritage breeds of livestock, the farm offered summer and fall CSAs, and hosted school groups and farm festivals. When the farm stand closed in 2017, the buildings were removed as the owners explored alternative plans for the property. The farmland fortunately remained in agricultural production, and Greenbelt was able to agree to purchase terms that will allow a new generation of farmers to grow healthy local food. Planning for this is well underway.
VINEYARD HILL: Across Asbury Street, Vineyard Hill’s 89 acres offer an incredible ridgeline trail attractive to equestrians, runners and hikers. Trails on Vineyard Hill connect directly to Greenbelt’s Shaw Field, the adjacent (and permanently protected) Brick Ends Farm and Bradley Palmer State Park beyond.
For decades, the Patton family generously worked with Greenbelt to protect significant portions of this land. However, more than 50 acres remained at risk for development, and access to trails throughout the entire property was in jeopardy.
A succesful, private fundraising effort allowed Greenbelt to forever preserve both Green Meadows and Vineyard Hill.
Preserving this land increased and secured year-round recreational access for public enjoyment, permanently protected prime agricultural land, and safeguarded watershed protection and priority wildlife habitat
Vineyard Hill is a premier Greenbelt Reservation, open from dawn to dusk and offering access to miles of trails and connections to neighboring conserved land.
Latitude 42.638427, Longitude -70.902015
DIRECTIONS & PARKING
From Ipswich Road in Topsfield (1.2 miles from Route 1), look for the sign for Bradley Palmer State Park. Turn onto Asbury Street. The parking area is about 1.5 miles on your right. From Route 1A in Hamilton, turn on to Arbor Street which becomes Highland Street. Follow this for 1.3 miles and turn left on to Asbury Street. Parking is about 1.3 miles on your left.
There is temporary parking on Asbury Street across from Vineyard Hill with places for a half-dozen cars.
82 Eastern Avenue, Essex,
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.