The farm at 87 Reservoir Rd., Chepachet, RI, was developed by Listening Tree Cooperative and tenant farmers since 2015. But the cooperative has disbanded and one of the co-op founders purchased the property and is looking for a potential owner who would use the sustainability and farming infrastructure and be part of the local food, medicine (herbs), and/or fiber movement.
The land is about 4 acres of cultivated land, a half-acre hay field, about two acres “developed” and 27 acres of forest. It is enrolled in a USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service forestry and conservation plan, which is transferable if desired and offers funding opportunities for listed projects and conservation techniques, such as selective wood cutting, cover cropping, riparian shrubbery planting and other erosion control techniques.
Two acres is in raised beds, one and a half acres was most recently used for rotational grazing, and a half acre is fenced as pasture, and < one half acre is permanently fenced with groundhog and deer fencing, with raised beds.
Housing includes a 4 1/2-bedroom, 1 ½-bath home with a highly efficient wood stove and oil heat back up; three small insulated cabins, 2 with electricity and 2 with woodstoves; and an outhouse. Other outbuildings include a three-garage bay shop, large open ended shed, passive solar vermiculture shed, and another insulated shed for daytime use such as an office or studio. House and privy have urine-diverting batch system composting toilets.
Home and farm operated net zero most years we lived here with 3-10 people at a time. Five-year old 12 KW photovoltaic (solar electric) array on shop roof. Two <1-year-old Powerwall battery back-up system is grid interconnected and enrolled in National Grid’s “Connected Solutions” distributed storage program, providing power to the grid during times of peak demand. Utility pays customer for such usage at above-average rates. System switches automatically to battery back-up for house and farm critical load circuits (freezers, refrigerator, irrigation, house well pump, etc.) when grid goes down.
Farming infrastructure includes:
- irrigation from an on-field hydrant, supplied by a rain-fed irrigation pond with pump;
- backup irrigation available from new 225’ deep well;
- a 27HP Kubota tractor with bucket, York rake, moldboard plow, grader, deck mower, post hole digger, and harrow;
- gravel road to the fields;
- electricity at one back field and all sheds;
- wash station (non-FSMA compliant) with stainless steel sinks and well water;
- barn attic with hayloft doors;
- basement storage;
- 8×12 walk-in cooler;
- chest freezers;
- hoops for hoop houses;
- 50-150 gal. worm castings;
- 12-14 dumptruck loads of leaves from the town transfer station for mulch and compost;
- 4 large thermophilic compost bins, half full;
- a pile of composted horse manure from neighboring horse farm;
- extensive perennial herb garden;
- two beginning food forests planted with fruit and nuts;
- blueberry patch;
- elderberry patch;
- black, red, and champagne currant and red raspberry plantings;
- pollinator nectary plantings;
- wild-simulated at risk medicinal herb plantings (United Plant Savers designated medicinal herb sanctuary);
- leases with two organic-methods tenant farmers for 2021 for 2 ½ acres of back fields.
Stockpile of sequestering urine and humanure maybe used on homestead crops (urine) and trees (humanure), but not on crops for market without further processing.
Preference given to BIPOC and women and experienced organic/regenerative farmers.