Brackett Brook Farm: A Hill Farm Looks Forward

Brackett Brook Farm, off of Route 25-A in East Orford, is one of the last family hill farms in the area. Since 1866 five generations of the Pease family have worked the fields and forests of the 103 acre farm. Today that farm is protected forever.

Brackett Brook Farm is owned by Harry and Linda Pease. They inherited the farm from Harry’s grandmother, Theda, in 2008. Before she passed away she told Harry that she was worried about what would become of the farm and made Harry promise that he would do right by it.  In the past the farm was a small dairy with fields of potatoes. Today, if you drove by on 25-A you would see lush hayfields and pasture land for beef cows. Hidden in the forest is a small but productive sugarbush.

From the north summit of Mount Cube, visitors can see the rolling farm fields and wooded hillsides of Brackett Brook Farm in the foreground, where it makes up much of the iconic viewshed. The farm is also adjacent to the federally protected Appalachian Trail corridor and near several hundred more acres of conserved land in Orford and Wentworth.

With Theda’s words about the farm in mind they sought the help of the Upper Valley Land Trust to ensure that the land they care so deeply about remains open and available for agricultural use for generations to come.

With its good soil and well-managed forest, there are many possibilities for future agricultural use, and Harry is confident that the farm will remain productive for years to come. UVLT is grateful to Harry and Linda for their excellent stewardship of the land and forethought for the future of agriculture and forestry in the Upper Valley.

“Linda and I are thrilled to have conserved this beautiful old hill farm that has been so important to both of our families for generations. We want to thank the Upper Valley Land Trust and the other organizations and individuals who helped make our dream a reality.” Said Harry after signing the conservation easement that protects his farm.

With strong support and funding from the Orford Conservation Commission, grants from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership Action Fund, a successful local campaign that brought gifts from 36 households, and a contribution from UVLT’s Fund for Conservation Action, UVLT has raised the funds needed to conserve Brackett Brook Farm and signed the conservation easement with the Pease’s on Wednesday.

Harry and Linda Pease after signing their conservation easement.

UVLT and the Orford Conservation Commission will be hosting a joint celebration of the conservation of this property in the spring.