Working landscapes, which provide food, are becoming quickly swallowed up by development and suburban sprawl. The American Farmland Trust’s recent Cultivate New York report states that an average of 3 farms per week have been destroyed over the last 30 years in New York State. This means that we have fewer places to grow local, healthy food.
This year, MHLC has taken steps to tackle the growing need for farm preservation in the Capital Region, including joining the American Farmland Trust’s Hudson Valley Farmlink Network, connecting us to a wide network of landowners, farmers, and other organizations dedicated to keeping farms as farmland. Our work on the Triumpho farmland is another step towards protecting working landscapes: by preserving soils of statewide significance, we ensure they are available for future food production for a sustainable future in Montgomery County.
Why focus on working landscapes? MHLC is committed to not only protect open spaces and scenic vistas, but also to protect fertile soils, farmable land, and the future of food production in our service area .Our farmland protection projects follow New York State’s Sound Agricultural Practices and fit into our larger conservation priorities for our work in the Hudson and Mohawk River Valleys. When we preserve working landscapes, we take into account the surrounding environment and natural resources, finding a balance between the working portions of the land and the other resources such as fresh water and wildlife habitat which are also protected.
We are currently working to protect the Triumpho farmland in St. Johnsville: 540 acres in the Mohawk Valley which have belonged to the Triumpho family for over 100 years. We’re working to save this land from any future development by placing a conservation easement on the property. You can learn more about the history and ecology of this land on our Triumpho Farmland webpage. We interviewed Richard about the history of his land and his desire to protect it: read this interview in our December 2018 edition of ViewPoints, MHLC’s print newsletter.
To read more about the landscape of farming in New York State, read the American Farmland Trust’s Cultivate New York report.
To read more about MHLC’s work on farmland protection and working landscapes, visit our Farmland Protection webpage.