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Brown Spring Farm | West Newbury
Chris Grant was able to put a new face on Brown Spring Farm in West Newbury, because of a collaboration between the Town, generous supporters, Greenbelt and Chris.
In 2019, Greenbelt permanently protected this irreplaceable piece of West Newbury’s local landscape and agricultural heritage, a bucolic 10-acre property beloved for its roadside stand where families have found fresh produce for generations.
Chris had been running a successful egg and poultry operation for years without secure access to his own land. Like many of the next generation of farmers in our region, Chris faced expensive land costs created by intense development pressures, including Brown Spring Farm when it came on the market.
That’s when Greenbelt, the Town and Chris came together to conserve this farmland with a method known as Buy-Protect–Sell.
Buy-Protect-Sell is a model that protects the land from residential development while providing farmers the opportunity to buy land they could not otherwise afford.
Greenbelt and the Town of West Newbury purchased an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) on the land with $200,000 in Community Preservation Act funds and private donations totaling $203,500.
The APR on the land not only protects it from future development, it ensures it will remain available for agricultural production. It also made the land affordable for Chris Grant to buy.
With the ownership of Grant Family Farm at Brown Spring, Chris’ aspirations for growing his business took off.
“After farming on borrowed or rented land for so long, it feels good to be able to set up simple things like a greenhouse, irrigation, and deer fencing that will be permanent and not worry that we might have to remove them after a season or two,” said Grant and his partner Alice Tonry.
The farm preserves an important cornerstone of West Newbury's agricultural economy, and provides a reliable source of fresh, local food.
This was a spectacular example of a partnership to preserve land in a way that maintains the community’s character and helps keep a young farmer on the land.
-Vanessa Johnson-Hall, Greenbelt Assistant Director of Land Conservation
Director of Land Conservation
(978) 768-7241 ext. 18
Assistant Director of Land
(978) 768-7241 ext. 16
82 Eastern Avenue
PO Box 1026
Essex, MA 01929
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Greenbelt thanks the photographers whose work is featured prominently on our website: Jerry Monkman, Dorothy Monnelly, Adrian Scholes, David Alden St. Pierre & Neil Ungerleider