Peninsula Daily News
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An estimated total of slightly more than $10,000 was collected for what the land trust dubbed the 24-Carrot Farm in buckets set out in local stores for the conservation easement, said Tom Sanford, land trust director.
That money was part of the $175,300 used to purchase the conservation easement, he said, adding that the rest of the money was raised through community donations over a period of years.
“In recent years, local folks have helped build a sustainable agriculture fund with the land trust that is intended precisely for opportunities such as this,” Sanford said.
Craig and Cynthia Apealt, who now have moved out of the area, sold the land to their neighbor, Nash's Organic Produce, while the land trust purchased the development rights.
The conservation easement means that all future owners will be legally bound to use the property solely for farming and wildlife habitat, Sanford said.
Title was transferred Tuesday, Sanford said.
The trust fund named the property the 24-Carrot Farm because the land is “pure American farmland,” Sanford said.
“It is the purest and best of our local soils,” he added.
The 24-Carrot Farm adjoins the 70-acre Delta Farm, previously conserved in 2000 by the PCC Farmland Trust with an agricultural conservation easement through the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
More than 580 acres have been conserved in the Dungeness Delta area, including 240 acres of prime farmland, Sanford said, while another 340 acres have been conserved primarily as wildlife habitat.
“Rich farming soils near the mouth of the Dungeness River are among the most productive in our region,” Sanford said.
“Together, we can ensure that we keep this pure American farmland available for farming, not just today, but forever.”
Hundreds of donations for the conservation easement purchase were collected at locations including Country Aire, Good to Go Grocery and Port Angeles Farmers Market in Port Angeles; Agnew Grocery and Feed; Dungeness Valley Creamery and Nash's Organic Produce, Dungeness; Sunny Farms, Carlsborg; and Red Rooster Grocery, Sequim.
The nonprofit land trust has conserved more than 2,700 acres of land on the North Olympic Peninsula since it was established in 1990.
In 2010, the land trust and Friends of the Fields, a conservation group based in the Sequim area, merged. The trust is accredited by the Land Trust Alliance.
For more information, visit www.northolympiclandtrust.org, phone 360-417-1815, email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the land trust office at 104 N. Laurel St., Suite 104, Port Angeles.