On July 31, Julie and Brian Fernee closed on the sale of an easement on their 85-acre Fernee Farm in North Berwick. The easement was the result of a long collaboration between the Fernees, MFT, and Great Works Regional Land Trust, who took assignment of the easement at closing. Julie, a lifelong animal rights activist, operates a rescue farm for neglected and abandoned animals on the property, and keeps 17 acres of fields in hay, orchard, and pasture. It is her desire to see the land protected from development and affordable for future farmers. An Option to Purchase at Agricultural Value (OPAV) was included in this easement to help insure that it is actively farmed in the future.
On July 16, Christa and Mike Bahner of Bahner Farm (& their kids Lizzy and Nicky) closed on the sale of an easement on a piece of farmland they recently purchased in order to expand their diversified vegetable farm. Bahner Farm has a popular farmstand along Route 3 in Belmont, and when a 12-acre piece of land down the road came up for sale that had similar soils to those on their home farm, they jumped at the opportunity to buy it. In order to make the purchase more affordable, the Bahners sold an easement to MFT that prohibits residential development outside of modest farm support housing. The Bahners are excited to secure this piece of land to grow their operation, and are happy to know that it will remain available for agricultural use into the future.