Why a Community Farm is the best and highest use of the Busa Farm land
Watch this five-minute video of many voices….and many reasons to support a community farm on the Busa property. Read more reasons below, and decide which are most important to you. Then take action by contacting your neighbors and members of the Board of Selectmen.
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Among the proposed uses of the Busa property, a community farm would offer the greatest benefit to the largest number of people in Lexington while preserving valuable farmland.
The LexFarm proposal, which was unanimously endorsed by the Selectmen-appointed Busa Land Use Proposal Committee, is a financially sound plan that will provide these benefits at no additional cost to the town.
You may know that demand for local organic food is skyrocketing. The time is right for Community Farm to satisfy that demand right here in Lexington.
The many benefits of a community farm on this property include:
- Educational opportunities for all ages. The LexFarm plan includes free programs for schoolchildren and adults that give everyone a chance to learn first-hand about food, agriculture, and the natural environment.
- Preservation. This is a working farm that has been in continuous use for over 300 years. A community farm supports Lexington’s core values, including sustainability and historic preservation. Once farmland is gone, it’s gone. There is no other property in town that can replace it.
- Local, organic food. Local food is not only healthful; it has less impact on the environment. It can also provide protection from food supply disruptions.
- Feeding those in need. The LexFarm plan would donate 10% of farm’s harvest to the Lexington Food Pantry and would provide half-price shares of produce for those In need.
- Recreation for the rest of us. The farm is a place where all ages can work and play together while enjoying the outdoors, regardless of athletic ability.
- Beauty. The farm is already in a unique setting next to the Arlington Reservoir and provides the first view of open space to those entering Lexington from Arlington on Lowell Street. Imagine a community working together on a farm to enhance the beauty of this special gateway to Lexington.
- Property values. Local farming is a coveted resource wherever it thrives. A community farm offers a diversity of opportunities for all those who live in Lexington and will increase the appeal of Lexington and help maintain the value of all our homes.
- An historic legacy. We have a unique opportunity to be the generation that seized the opportunity to prove a lasting, irreplaceable gift to future generations.
Why is the Community Farm better for Lexington?
Two alternative uses of the Busa land have been proposed: high density community housing and playing fields. Both represent worthwhile and important goals, but both proposals reduce the amount of land available for a successful farm operation. In addition, these proposals provide only incremental benefits at substantial additional cost to taxpayers. In contrast, the Community Farm is a self-sustaining operation that preserves a unique tract of land with benefits for the entire community.
How would it work?
- Overwhelming demand. Community-supported farms in the area have long waiting lists that reflect the growing demand for local food. This is the most important ingredient in success – people want the product.
- A conservative, solid business plan based on CSA The LexFarm plan was prepared in consultation with operators of successful small CSA farms in eastern Massachusetts. Using conservative assumptions about yields, operating costs, and market demand, the plan shows that the farm can fulfill its mission at no additional cost to the town.
- Professional management. A professional farm manager trained in smart business and agricultural practices will operate the farm.
- Existing Infrastructure. Start-up costs are minimal because the farm would use the existing greenhouse, farm stand, and equipment from the Busa farm.
- Community partnership. This is a Community Farm. Members and other local partners will contribute to, and benefit from, the farm’s success.