In early December, we closed on three adjoining projects in the lush Fairview valley, securing 28 acres of prime farming bottom land for agricultural use in the future. The parcels lie alongside the Drovers’ Road Scenic Byway, below a twisting ascent up the Hickory Nut Gap. Together, these projects help ensure the protection of the scenic quality of this rural landscape, as well as the availability of rare prime soils for present and future farmers.
“It was important to us to ensure the agricultural future of this land and scenic value of the valley,” said Annie Louise Perkinson of Flying Cloud Farm. “Protecting the land means it will continue to be available to provide fresh vegetables and flowers to local communities in the future.“
Flying Cloud Farm, managed by Annie Louise and Isaiah Perkinson, operates on a large portion of the recently protected land. These new bargain-sale conservation easements protect parcels that contain 100% prime or state important soils. The tracts are contiguous with 400+ acres of already protected conservation land, and include vital portions of full-time, successful working farms operated by young farmers of Flying Cloud Farm and Hickory Nut Gap Farm.
“Preserving the use of this part of the valley for farmland and for beauty is important to us as a family, and we would not have been able to do that without the help of SAHC,” said Dr. Will Hamilton, owner of a portion of the protected acreage.
Water quality protection was another important factor in the recent project. In creating the conservation easements, landowners also took additional steps to protect a significant riparian area along Ashworth Creek. These landowners voluntarily agreed to exclude livestock from this portion of the creek, which will help protect stream life and water quality.