by Hal Gray
GREENSBORO – On June 22, about 30 people gathered on Greensboro’s Hardwick Street to commemorate the conservation of the Wilson Farm. The land is protected in partnership with the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) with support from the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB).
Speakers included Stacy Cibula, agriculture program director of VHCB, who explained VHCB is a quasi-state agency which encourages preservation of wetlands and streams and the transfer of farms between generations. VHCB provided $188,000, of which $120,000 came from the federal government and $68,000 from the State of Vermont.
In addition, the Greensboro Land Trust (GLT) contributed $20,000 to the conservation easement. Jon Ramsey, formerly of the VLT and now executive director of Hardwick’s Center for an Agricultural Economy, described the added complication in negotiating the easement as former owner David Allen wanted to retain 20 acres, thus the property was divided to accommodate this.
Clive Gray, chair of the GLT, gave some history of the GLT, which is not a formal part of the VLT but is supportive of its work, having arranged 19 easements of its own. Gray expressed his gratitude to the Beers and David Allen, who owned the land when it was known as Hazendale Farm.
David Allen, the fourth speaker, then described how his grandfather, Pardon Allen, initially owned the land and produced potatoes, maple syrup and milk, which he shipped on the train from the station in Greensboro Bend. Allen later grew 24 to 26 different vegetables until 2019, when he sold the farm to the Beers. Several of Allen’s early fields now make up the Mountain View Country Club and the Highland Center for the Arts.
The final speakers were the new owners, Lindsay and Brenden Beer, who explained that “Wilson” was Lindsay’s mother’s maiden name, and the family settled in the 1800s on Greensboro’s Tamarack Ranch Road. The Beers now grow about 20 different herbs, primarily for medicinal purposes, with only a few for culinary uses. They dry the herbs in a section of the greenhouse that reaches 140 degrees using sunlight.The Beers then led a tour of their fields, which included over a quarter acre of motherwort, which is used to address specifically women’s health. While some of their production is used to create herbal products of their own, such as tea blends and tonics, the rest is wholesaled to other companies that manufacture their own products. The Beers also sell local fruits and vegetables and other food items (especially Vermont-sourced), including homemade herbal ice cream, in their market building at 2747 Hardwick Street in Greensboro. For more information visit wilsonherbfarm.com, or call (802) 533-2233.