After 200 years of ownership within the Robinson Family, this iconic farm needs new owners who will take it into the future as a working farm and community asset. The current owners and Vermont Land Trust (VLT) have reached an agreement for VLT to acquire the farm in October. VLT will be an interim owner to enable the smooth transition of the farm to a long-term owner.
This historic property is on 480 Brook Road in Strafford with a small amount of acreage located in Sharon. The farm is well-known in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire and has appeared on the cover of numerous publications including Vermont Life magazine. Perched behind the houses and outbuildings is the farm’s most noteworthy feature, a 10-sided barn built in 1907 by Willard Robinson. This barn, built from timber cut and sawed on site, is 90 feet in diameter with white horizontal siding, a segmented conical roof, and a louvered and windowed cupola. The foundation was built with crushed stones, also from the property. It was built as a milking barn and the milk house with a bulk tank remains. Today the barn, still in very good condition with recent renovations and a new electrical system, is used to raise Hereford beef cows and for hay storage.
At one time, the farm produced nearly all the inputs needed to operate successfully and sustain the family. It has two houses plus a completely intact set of farm outbuildings that supported a wide variety of farm enterprises, including an on-site blacksmith shop.
There is an active maple sugar operation utilizing a portion of the 3,000 – 3,500 available maple trees. The farm is enrolled in Vermont’s Current Use program and is managed under a forest management plan. Taxes are approximately $4,000 per year and insurance is approximately $3,000 per year.
The farm will be subject to a perpetual farmland conservation easement that will allow all types of agricultural uses and new agricultural structures, while limiting subdivision and commercial or residential development. A buyer may or may not decide to include the option to purchase at agricultural value. This option allows VLT to purchase the farm at its agricultural value should the buyer (or a future owner) attempt to sell the farm to a non-farmer. (Owners may also sell the farm to family members.) The easement will also include riparian buffers or grass buffer strips to preserve water quality along all existing brooks and streams. purchase price of the farm will be set by appraisal subject to the conservation easement. An appraisal will be completed in late August
We are hosting two open houses on September 5th and September 8th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the farm to allow potential buyers to see the property. For more information, please go to www.vlt.org/robinson or contact Jon Ramsay, Directorof VLT's Farmland Access Program, 802 533-7705.