In-depth site and business planning with a land trust and landowner help in the envisioning of a new community farm.

Community Farm Master Plan, Dracut, MA

Regenerative Design Group was hired to complete a master plan with a phased implementation plan, a farm enterprise financial summary, and a six-year profit and loss projection to revitalize a 27-acre discontinued family farm. The vision was to develop a community-based agricultural enterprise that engages the public through educational programming and agritourism. The plans included information about regenerative agricultural practices that support soil health while producing food for local markets, and provide farming and farm training opportunities to members of surrounding communities.

For this project, RDG facilitated communication and a visioning process with the Trustees of Reservations and the farm family in order to develop a plan that met both the land trust’s and the family’s needs. Located in an area of New England where farmland is under constant threat of development, some of the goals for this project included engaging the community in the farm landscape, establishing a commercial kitchen, and creating a viable business model to contribute to regional farm development.

The final product included detailed site plans for new farm infrastructure and a 25-page illustrated report with project goals, GIS site analyses, a phased implementation plan, and a detailed enterprise budget with six-year projected income for diversified farm production.

Key Features

  • Site plan with annual and perennial production areas
  • Gathering spaces
  • Soil management plan
  • Mushroom production area
  • Pollinator strips
  • Marketing and opportunities and retail infrastructure

Services Provided

  • Facilitation with multiple stakeholders
  • Long-term visioning
  • Site and market assessment
  • Phased implementation plan
  • Integration of agrotourism and education elements into a productive farm
  • Enterprise budget: six-year profit and loss
  • Infrastructure assessment and farm funding research

The Trustees [of Reservations] believe that access to land, for all that it offers us, is essential to a good quality of life. We work to protect and sustainably steward important farmland, putting the land to good use by providing healthy food for local communities; nurturing the next generation of farmers; education, exciting, and inspiring consumers; and promoting the multiples benefits of local food and farms to create a strong local food system inclusive of all people.

TTOR Agriculture Vision, October 2013