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Great turnout for the Kingsbury Community Farm open house

11/15/2007

Well over 150 people turned out last Sunday, November 11, for the open house celebrating the purchase of the Kingsbury Community Farm by the Vermont Land Trust earlier in the week. 

The purpose of the open house was to begin the process of deciding how the farm will be used to best serve the community. The Vermont Land Trust is acting as interim owner of the farm while the community develops a plan for its future use.    

A key part of the project is that the land will be conserved and will not be able to be developed in the future. Funding for the project was provided by the Warren Conservation Commission and the Mad River Valley Watershed Conservation Partnership with the balance of the purchase price covered by a temporary loan from the Vermont Land Trust.
 
The open house gave community members a chance to walk the land, see the barn and tour the house. Signs were posted at several places on the property encouraging people to give their ideas on how the farm and buildings can be used. There was a timeline showing the history of the farm and land from the early 1800s to the present day with space for people to write their ideas for the future of the farm.  

Organizations that helped facilitate the purchase of the farm were on hand to answer questions about how their organizations might fit into the farm's future. These organizations included The Friends of the Mad River, the Mad River Path Association, The Mad River Valley Planning District, Yestermorrow, the Vermont Land Trust, and the Mad River Valley Localvores. There was a question-and-answer session at the end of the open house where attendees were encouraged to ask questions of the six-person committee who has been working on the purchase since the early summer. The six-person committee includes Linda Lloyd, Kinny Perot, Tara Hamilton, Bob Ferris, Liza Walker and Robin McDermott.  
 
Four generations of the Kingsbury family were on hand for the celebration ranging from Janice Kingsbury who owned the house to her great granddaughters. It was a bittersweet day for the family members as they shared years of memories of the home they grew up in with people at the open house. Janice Kingsbury said that she was very happy to know that the farm would be named after the family, the Kingsbury Community Farm.  
 
People attending the open house were treated to hot cider from Mountain Valley Farm, Cold Hollow Cider Donuts, Vermont Milk Company Ice Cream, and a Localvore cranberry cake created by Localvore organizer Nancy Baron. Children's activities and live music rounded out the event.
 
The organizing committee will be meeting in the coming weeks to determine the next steps in the project. The plan is to form a number of committees to help move the project forward. The agreement with the Vermont Land Trust is that the community will have a plan for the farm in place by May of 2008 and that the farm ownership will be transferred to the ultimate owners by the end of 2008. At this time the final ownership structure is still up in the air. The farm can be owned by the community, by organizations within the community, or by an individual farmer. Exactly what the ownership structure will be is what the committees will be working on over the coming months.  
 
For more information on the Kingsbury Community Farm project and to sign up for e-newsletters about the project, go to www.KingsburyCommunityFarm.org.

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