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Growing Opportunities: Tatamagouche Community Land Trust

July 25, 2010

After a few days rest with a Warm Showers host in Moncton, New Brunswick, we cycled  East into Nova Scotia, to the shores of the Northumberland Strait and Waldegrave Farm, near the town of Tatamagouche.    Waldegrave is a really inspiring place, both for the collaborative model of land tenure they have developed,  as well as the organic vegetable production being managed by Cammie Harbottle.  This first post is about the Land Trust, there will be another post coming soon about Cammie’s farm.

THE TATMAGOUCHE COMMUNITY LAND TRUST

Waldegrave Farm is in the process of becoming a Community Land Trust (defined in a previous post here) with eight leaseholders.  Their story is a dream-come-true: Several years ago, fresh out of University and after having completed a cross-country bicycle Climate Change Caravan, a group of friends got together to look for land to build a community…

The Land Search Binder...the group developed a checklist of their key considerations for real estate and visited dozens of farms throughout eastern Canada. In the end, the farm on the page shown here was the winner.

After much searching, researching, site visits, and meetings they settled on the property in  Tatamagouche.  Together, ten of them were able to pool enough resources to purchase the farm for around $100,000.

One of the key considerations in their land search was zoning regulations that determined whether, as a group, they could meet their residential needs.    Their Tatamagouche farm land is zoned as ”rural”,  allowing them to construct multiple dwellings on their property.  They have worked with their municipal government to allow them to build their houses more densely than usual to conserve agricultural and natural space as well as to maintain a physical community core.

In the background: Two residences under construction near the existing barns and sheds. Foreground: some of Cammie's field crops.

While their story sounds idyllic, it hasn’t been without its challenges.  The buildings and land have taken a lot of time and work to restore and revive.  For those of the group coming from a warmer climate, the long, cold winters have taken some adjusting.    And everyone has learned from experience that the group dynamics of community living requires a significant and ongoing commitment of time and energy. But these challenges are clearly outweighed by the benefits of what they have achieved there; a community living on land held in trust for perpetuity.

Waldegrave is also the clearest example we have come across of the potential for community land trusts to benefit agriculture.   Cammie Harbottle has established an impressive organic vegetable business at Waldegrave…without having to purchase any land at all!  More about Cammie’s farm coming soon…

Post by Alex

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2010 7:54 pm

    Hi all,

    Thanks for these wonderful blog posts. It’s so inspiring to get glimpses from the outside world. The revolution is happenin’. Yea! We will keep following you from Saanich. Keep posting lots of pics and captions, especially of the “on’farm” inventions!
    We had a delicious day of bread baking at Ragley last week and Josey spoke fondly of you all. I bet you aren’t going to find bread as good as that any time soon.

    Keep having fun. Farm on, farm on!

    Robin Tunnicliffe

Trackbacks

  1. Farm Glance: Waldegrave Farm « Seeking Farmland

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