2002 update by Caroline Whyte
The Schumacher Society has been involved in an innovative project to keep Indian Line Farm as an community-based, working farm in perpetuity. The farm has been purchased with the help of community donations, and a Community Land Trust is being established there. The trust will hold title to the land, but the buildings and farm improvements will belong to two young organic farmers, Elizabeth Keen and Alex Thorp, who have been farming the land for the last two seasons. They will have a 99-year lease on the land to provide security of tenure.
Since the farmland includes valuable wetlands which provide a home for rare species, the Nature Conservancy now holds an easement on the property to permanently limit future development. If in the future the current farmers wish to sell the farm, the CLT will have the option to buy it at no more than the then-current replacement cost and resell it at the same price to another farmer, thus ensuring that the farm remains affordable and that the value of the land is not included in the farm price. Susan Witt explains that "[this provides] a community way to subsidize the land costs while farmers purchase buildings and other improvements".
Detailed information about the structure of this partnership is available online at the Schumacher Society's website , and model legal documents for this type of partnership are in preparation and will be available shortly from the Schumacher Society.
Original text on this subject Other Chapter 6 updates