Community farm raises funds

  • Animals graze at the community farm.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/6/2016 6:16:06 PM

Temple-Wilton Community Farm has graced the landscape for decades. Over the years, the endeavor has grown, with new buildings, more animals and all backed by a solid Community Supported Agriculture model – the longest running in the country.

But those improvements have been made on land that the farm does not actually own. It’s a long term lease – 99 years, which ensure the farm continues until long after its current caretakers are able to till the fields. But they are taking the long-range view, and want the land to be protected in perpetuity. That means buying it.

“The thing of it is, farmers tend to work pretty hard, and they put a lot of time and effort into making and building things,” said Anthony Graham, one of the farmers at the Temple-Wilton Community Farm. “Building barns and buildings and things we need. At the end of 99 years, all those buildings will go to the owner. We needed to do something different.”

The farm, through its state nonprofit organization that handles leases, has reached a purchase agreement with the farm’s current owner to purchase the 68 acres for a total of $508,000. The farm has a short time frame to raise the money, and has already been going full-tilt with fundraising to reach their goal, both through a community loan structure and private donations.

The farm will need to raise approximately $108,000 in private donations, of which $31,000 has been raised to date. The rest of the money will be secured through a loan from the N.H. Community Loan Fund. The way the fund works is people or organization lend as little as $1,000 to the CLF, at a rate of 2 percent interest for ten years. The CLF then consolodates those funds and uses it to back a loan to the Temple-Wilton Community Farm. The farm will be raising $410,000 of its purchase price this way, and has already secured $355,000 of that.

“We’re kind of under the gun because have an arrangment with the owners that we have to tell them we can or can't do it by June 30,” said Graham. “Having done as much as we have we're quite determined that we're not going to say that we can't do it.”

See for more information.

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