Bow Wow Farm
A joint conservation effort between Sheffield Land Trust, Egremont
Land Trust and Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires
Conservation of Bow Wow Farm is a collaborative
effort between the Sheffield Land Trust and the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires, along with the farm family, and other partners.
Bow Wow Farm is located along Bow Wow and Lime Kiln Roads in Sheffield, and links the western and eastern ends of an important wildlife corridor. The farm comprises fields, forest, wetlands, uplands, rare species habitat and prime agricultural soils. The significance of this landscape is highlighted in numerous land trust, town and state documents. Community ownership of the small plot of land where the house sits ensures the house will remain affordable to the farmer who works the land.
Bow Wow Farm’s fields and pasture are used by three different farmers producing vegetables and flowers sold direct to consumers through farmstands and farmers markets, plus pasture-raised beef, and corn and hay for a local dairy operation. The extensive forest provides essential firewood for greenhouse operations and winter heating. The farmland and working forest are being protected through the purchase of an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) to be held by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. The rare species habitat is being protected through the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.
As part of the Bow Wow Farm project the houses associated with the farm are coming into farmer-ownership at greatly reduced prices. This is thanks to the former owners’ understanding of the importance of affordable housing and their long-time relationship with the tenant farmers. We are trying to raise $95,000 to purchase a 1.4-acre home site to ensure a house remains associated with the conserved farmland in perpetuity.
A fundraising campaign will launch in 2017.