Farmland conservation helps revive Greensboro farm
June 18, Greensboro – Greensboro-area residents who love farm-fresh food have something to celebrate with the revival of a local farm. By conserving the farmland with the Vermont Land Trust, Brenden and Lindsay Beer were able to buy the former Hazendale Farm and have just opened a food store on Hardwick Street.
The store is located where the popular Hazendale farmstand was before it closed a few years ago. The new Wilson Farm Market sells organic herbs and herbal products from the Beers’ farm, as well as vegetables, meats, cheese, and more from other farmers.
The Beers started leasing the farm from David Allen and Diana Griffiths in 2018. David and Diana had produced vegetables, fruits, meats, and cheeses for nearly 35 years.
Lindsay and Brenden were able to shift from leasing to owning by working with the Vermont Land Trust Farmland Access Program, which has helped over 100 farmers buy their first farms.
“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.”
The project was made possible with critical funding from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Greensboro Land Trust, including their Mary Witherbee Fund at the Stony Point Foundation.
Vermont Housing and Conservation Board Executive Director Gus Seelig said, “VHCB proudly supports VLT’s Farmland Access Program and provides state and federal funds for farmland conservation, allowing farmers like Lindsay and Brenden to set down roots while also helping retiring farmers to pass their farms on to the next generation, keeping the land in agricultural use.”
The store opened earlier this month with online shopping. “When we started planning opening up a farm market a year ago, this is not how we originally envisioned it going,” said Lindsay. “But, we feel that now more than ever, it is important to be buying food locally and supporting our farmers and producers in the area.”
This week the Beers have opened the shop to three customers at a time, with appropriate safety precautions. The store is open 11 am to 7 pm at 2747 Hardwick Street, and masks are required. “We will continue to offer online ordering and curbside pick-up throughout the season,” added Lindsay.
“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.”
The Beers know the area; Lindsay had grown up in Craftsbury and her ancestors, the Wilsons, settled there more than eight generations ago. They’ve named their farm Wilson Herb Farm in honor of Lindsay’s family.
“We want to provide access to fresh, organic, and sustainably grown food,” said Brenden. “Our priority is to source from regional farms and producers to create a hub of commerce for local businesses.”
The Beers sell organic herbs and herbal products from their farm, as well as vegetables, meats, cheese, and more from other farmers at the revived farmstand.