High in the hills of Pomfret, Vermont, just off Wild Apple Road, are 112 acres of undeveloped land with an important role in the town’s history. This land was the “Town Farm,” also referred to as the “Poor Farm” and several cellar holes and a small field remain as evidence that it was once here. After a fire in 1928, the Town Farm was moved to another site; hence this property became the “Old Town Farm.”
This land is now owned by UVLT, generously gifted by Marc and Robin Walpow of Hanover, New Hampshire.
Past the open fields where the Old Town Farm once stood, there are acres of maple trees. This productive sugarbush has been used for the production of maple syrup for decades by a local family. Once, it took a sled, oxen, and dozens of workers from the local dairy farms to collect 2,500 buckets throughout the sugarbush. Today 1,200 taps are placed along the modern reverse-osmosis lines. Along with the woodlands the property boasts forested wetlands that run along Wild Apple and Webster Hill Roads where Lady Slippers and other wetland plants grow.
In addition to sugaring, a portion of the field is used by a local farmer to grow vegetables for their CSA. Woods roads are managed, and have been kept open, and the fields are managed for monarchs. A town trail passes alongside the property and is used by the community for hiking, mountain biking, and skiing.
UVLT intends to continue to lease the property for sugaring. The income from the lease will offset the costs of ownership. Over the next year we will be assessing other uses for the property with ideas including community gardens, recreational areas, community woodlot, and educational opportunities and collaborations.
Thank you to Robin and Marc Wolpow for their forward-looking commitment to the conservation of the Upper Valley.