A few years ago, Greensboro residents were saddened by the closure of Hazendale Farm, a popular organic farm and farmstand located on Hardwick Street. David Allen and Diana Griffiths made the difficult decision to close after providing locally-grown vegetables, fruits, meats, and cheeses to the community for nearly 35 years.
Then, in 2018, David and Diana began leasing the land to farmers Brenden and Lindsay Beer. The Beers knew the area well; Lindsay had grown up in Craftsbury and her ancestors, the Wilsons, settled in the area more than eight generations ago.
Wilson Herb Farm
Brenden and Lindsay now operate Wilson Herb Farm there, named in honor of Lindsay’s family. They grow certified organic medicinal and culinary herbs including calendula, sage, tulsi (holy basil), among many others. They also produce teas, salves, and elixirs.
The Beers were able to move from leasing to owning the farm through conservation funding. By working with VLT and the Greensboro Land Trust, they sold a conservation easement that will protect the valuable farmland from future development.
“Land trusts are one of the few ways these islands of open land can be saved for the next steward,” said David. “Many thanks to all who contributed to this project, the benefits of which will be experienced in the years to come.”
This spring, Brenden and Lindsay plan to launch Wilson Farm Market, a farm store where people can buy from the farm and find other local products. “We want to provide access to fresh, organic, and sustainably grown food,” says Brenden. “Our priority is to source from regional farms and producers to create a hub of commerce for local businesses.” Located near the Highland Center for the Arts and the local ballfield, the reborn farmstand is poised to once again become an important landmark in Greensboro.
“Hazendale Farm was a meaningful part of the Greensboro community, and it’s exciting to see Brenden and Lindsay building on that legacy,” says VLT’s Britt Haselton. “Land conservation strengthens rural communities and helps support businesses that provide local food—businesses that have proven critical during this pandemic.”
Photo by Kyle Gray. Funded by VHCB (with matching funds from USDA-NRCS), the Greensboro Land Trust, and its Mary Witherbee Fund established at the Stoney Point Foundation.