Southold farm wins ag sustainability grant
Funds aimed at long-term viability of 40-acre property
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Peconic Land Trust officials would certainly agree with playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder: "Money is like manure. It should be spread around."
That's exactly what they plan to do at Charnews Farm in Southold with a two-year, $30,000 grant from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Land Trust Alliance.
The money will support the progress of the land trust's agricultural sustainability management plan for the 40-acre working farm. In fact, completion of that management plan is a critical requirement of the grant, said Pam Greene, land trust vice president for stewardship.
"We're sort of mapping out the road maps," she said.
The Charnews Farm, on Youngs Avenue just north of Founders Village, is a combination of two adjacent agricultural properties. The land trust spent $2.4 million last spring to acquire the 23.4-acre Charnews farm, which abuts the Hubbard property it had previously purchased. Southold Town put up $1.6 million in land preservation funds to offset the land trust's investment.
"The site needed some TLC," Ms. Greene said, pointing to work done primarily by volunteers to spruce up a house on the site and begin to cultivate soil that hadn't been farmed for at least two decades. In July, volunteers planted flowers and established plans for vegetable planting.
Another $7,000 allotment from the same program is enabling the land trust to hire a temporary part-time worker to assist in completing management plans for all its properties, she said. Peter Priollo, a student at Stony Brook University's Southampton campus, has been named to that post.
Land trust staffers will continue to focus on ways to bring in more money through grants and contributions to sustain its programs, Ms. Greene said.
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