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Wheeler Brook Farm | Georgetown
Bob and Barbara Morehouse spent more than 40 years growing Wheeler Brook Farm into a favorite destination where locals could pick berries and buy vegetables from the honor-system farm stand. Declining health meant the Morehouses could no longer run the farm, prompting them to meet with Greenbelt to explore conservation options. They wanted to make sure it stayed a farm, but they also needed retirement income and to leave their children a meaningful inheritance. Despite offers from developers, they held firm to the hope that they could find a way to keep their land a working farm.
An appraisal determined that the farm could be subdivided into four house lots. Bob and Barb did not want that to happen, but they needed some compensation for giving up these development rights. Greenbelt suggested that the Morehouses grant a CR that would eliminate non-agricultural development rights, but include the flexibility for the farm to expand and prosper into the future. Greenbelt would buy the CR for less than its fair market value, a “charitable sale”, allowing the Morehouses to qualify for federal and state tax benefits in addition to income from the sale. In the end, the Morehouses were able to remove a significant amount of value from their estate, which helps their heirs avoid estate taxes. Further, with the development rights removed, the land will be more affordable for a future farmer to buy.
To preserve the land we love as a farm ... that is the legacy we want to leave to the next generation.
~The late Bob Morehouse
Photos: Kelly Chadwick: kellychadwickphotography.com & Beth Glasmann: marybethglasmann.com
Director of Land Conservation
(978) 768-7241 ext. 18
Assistant Director of Land
(978) 768-7241 ext. 16
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.