We are excited to announce that we met the fundraising goal to protect Crossroad Farm! A big thank you to everyone who generously stepped forward to help out. Now we will be working toward a final closing on the conservation of the land. Stay tuned by signing up for our enewsletter or liking us on facebook.
When a beloved local farm has deep, rich soils in a scenic part of Vermont, there is the real potential for Vermont to lose a significant agricultural and community asset to development.
Luckily, Janet and Tim Taylor know how unique their farm is and how important it is for their community to have this working farm close to home.
Tim and Janet recently decided to sell the development rights on their 56-acre vegetable farm to the Vermont Land Trust.
They did this to ensure that, when they retire, the prime agricultural land they have spent their lives stewarding will remain in production and be passed on to the next generation of farmers.
Since 1980, long before the word "localvore" was invented, Crossroad Farm has been committed to sustainable vegetable production with farming methods that are healthy, safe, and< non-polluting. Crossroad Farm is a local source of food and a crown jewel of Post Mills and Thetford, and even the neighboring towns of West Fairlee and Vershire.
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Crossroad Farm is a major supplier to many local restaurants, the Coop Food Stores, and summer camps throughout the Upper Valley. Janet and Tim also sell their produce at regional farmers' markets, as well as to their friends and neighbors who visit their popular farmstand.
By conserving their farm, the Taylors hope to ensure a future where their land continues to produce fruits, vegetables, and plants for the local community. This way, locals and visitors can continue to count on a wide variety of greens and tomatoes, strawberries, melons, flowers, and bedding plants.
Beyond their delicious vegetables and beautiful plants, Janet and Tim have employed community members and given many young people the opportunity to both work in a healthy, productive place and learn skills that have led to careers in farming.
The Taylors are generous contributors of their time, expertise, and produce to countless community endeavors. For example, Tim has served on the Thetford Planning Commission and he currently chairs the District 3 Environmental Commission.
Tim was also past president of the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association. Janet has served on the Thetford School Board, Thetford Academy Board, and the Rivendell Trails Association Board, and is currently on the Board of Directors of Vital Communities, a regional organization that engages the community around economic and environmental issues in the Upper Valley. The Taylors regularly contribute produce to the local churches and schools. In 2000, they donated part of their property to the Town.
"The reason we want to conserve Crossroad Farm is that creating the farm has been our life's work and we'd like to see it continue on as a farm. When Janet and I moved to Post Mills and bought our house, she was a teacher and I was a lawyer. We started out with the house and 15 acres of worn-out hayfield.
We started gardening, then selling our produce from a picnic table, then selling to restaurants and pretty soon we were calling ourselves farmers. Twice along the way there was land adjacent to us that was destined for development. Twice we fought this development through the Act 250 process. By fighting the development pressures we were able to create the 56-acre Crossroad Farm. The outcome could have been different. We know from experience that the only way to truly know that our land will be protected and available to future generations of farmers is to conserve it through the Vermont Land Trust.
We know every little pebble on the farm. We can tell you the best spot to plant potatoes, and where not to plant lettuce. We know the dry spots and the fertile spots. We know where the deer pass through, where the woodchucks live, and where the Killdeer like to nest. We love this land. It has been very, very good to us. It is some of the best soil in Vermont and it can continue to feed thousands every year. We hope to help make that possible."
"Thetford is blessed with several areas of prime gricultural soils, including much of Post Mills. These soils are geological deposits — humans cannot create them. It is our responsibility to steward them wisely, for they are irreplaceable. Protecting this farm and making this productive land affordable to future farmers will ensure that agriculture, that so defines Vermont's character, will continue to flourish here."
--- Li Shen, Thetford Conservation Commission
"Five years ago the Thetford Conservation Commission conducted a series of charrettes in Town to tease out conservation criteria that would help us proactively determine fundraising
priorities and special properties worth conserving. At the top of our list of our conservation priority criteria was prime agricultural soils. That is why the Commission considers Crossroads Farm to be both a fundraising priority and a special property worth conserving."
--- Skip Sturman, a member of the Conservation Commission
"Our family has been privileged to enjoy fresh vegetables from this beautiful, vibrant farm for over three decades. We need to ensure that the years of work the Taylors have put into Crossroad Farm are not lost and that future generations will also have healthful locally grown produce for their families and friends."
---Connie Snyder, Thetford Conservation Commission
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