Saluda Community Land Trust attends lectures in Massachusetts

Published 5:27 pm Friday, February 16, 2018

There just might be some things that we can learn from those who faced the loss of small farms and homesteads before we did, even if those folks are “Up North.”

Thanks to the Polk County Community Foundation, two people representing Saluda Community Land Trust were sponsored to go to the 37th Annual Schumacher Lectures in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The lectures were on Nov. 4, 2017.

Betsy Burdett and Wendy Cochran took a train from Greenville, South Carolina late on Nov. 1, getting to Massachusetts the next night. The days before the lectures and after were spent with representatives from the Great Barrington (Community) Land Trust, learning about their projects, started years ago.

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Their projects include community housing with communal open space owned by the land trust, 99 year free farm leases,  and a working farm that was the site of the first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm in North America. The problems of land loss that we face today hit New England 30 years ago. Being able to see what worked for the Great Barrington community, and what did not work in the long run, is very valuable knowledge to help Saluda Community Land Trust plan land use projects for the future

Betsy and Wendy got on the trail feeling burnout, but came back with renewed energy to continue working with small farmers and landowners. Working together we can  help keep farming as a viable option to sustain our small , but vibrant community.

Thank you PCCF all that you do for our wonderful community.

Betsy Burdett, Saluda