Conserving an Orchard
Jean and David
owned Shelburne Farm for decades. When David passed away in 1993,
Jean found it difficult to maintain the 110-acre orchard.
But she hesitated to sell because she feared that the next
buyer would cut down the apple trees and develop the land.
Several conservation groups teamed up with Jean to
find a solution that saved the orchard and conserved the
land. Fifty-eight acres of the orchard were accepted into
the state Agricultural Preservation Restriction
program. APR compensates owners who permanently restrict
their land to agricultural use. In 1998, Liz and Ted
Painter realized their dream by purchasing Shelburne Farm from
Jean. The day of this picture, Jean had stopped by to answer
questions and pass on some experience to Liz.
remaining 42 acres were woodland unsuitable for farming.
Jean asked Stow to purchase this land, and town meeting
overwhelmingly accepted. The conservation groups also helped
Stow obtain a self-help grant toward the cost. Another
neighbor granted 3.5 additional acres to provide access to
woodlands and the 38 adjoining acres that were already protected
by a conservation restriction.