Current projects & stories

A Dream Becomes a Reality

Providing the community with fresh, local producePhoto of vegetable farm field by Ryan Owens

When Tracie (Smith) Loock started her CSA (community supported agriculture) operation on her father's farm, she never imagined the long journey ahead as she tried to find her own land.

"That spring my father told me this would be the last year I could farm on his land," recalled Tracie. "But I hadn't found any suitable land that was affordable with the modest farm income I was making."

Then, after years of searching, Tracie met David Green and Matt Buonomano who had been looking for a farmer to come along and use the rich soil on their property for its intended purpose.

A common obstacle

It’s often hard for young farmers to find land that is still undeveloped, has rich agricultural soils and enough acreage to offer a place to live and to raise crops. Too often such tracts are in demand and priced high due to also being desirable building lots. By eliminating the potential for non-agricultural development, a conservation easement can effectively reduce land value to within the reach of an aspiring farmer. And that’s what David and Matt were able to do for Tracie with help from the Monadnock Conservancy.

“After 10 years, I finally found my own land. It is beyond my wildest dreams. The property has great soil, and the community is awesome,” Tracie remarked.

That fall she moved her established business -- greenhouses, equipment, supplies, perennial plants and compost; tilled up the land; cut trees and milled them to build a barn; and put a trailer on-site as her home. Come spring, she continued the CSA, even expanding her operation by taking on new members.

The future of farming

With affordable prime agricultural land, a great crew and a supportive community hungry for nutritious, fresh, quality local food, Tracie’s Community Farm thrives. As the seasons progress, crops change, ensuring an ever-changing palette from lettuce in the spring to onions in early fall.