Aspetuck Land Trust has acquired Gilbertie’s Farm, a 34-acre working organic farm adjacent to the land trust’s Randall’s Farm Preserve on Sport Hill Road in Easton, for $2 million.
Gilbertie’s Farm will anchor Aspetuck Land Trust’s vision to create a multi-town “Green Corridor” involving a 40,000-acre belt of land in Easton, Weston, Redding, Wilton, Westport, and Fairfield.
The nonprofit land trust intends to keep Gilbertie’s – the largest certified organic greenhouse operation in the Northeast – as a working farm in perpetuity and is exploring ways the farm can be made more accessible to the community.
The property was acquired from Dan Levinson of Westport and his partners. Levinson organized a group to buy the farm in 2013, when its bank threatened foreclosure and development.
Levinson has given the land trust a mortgage on the farm and made what the trust called “a generous financial gift that reduced the purchase price significantly.” In addition, thanks to donations by its members, the land trust was able to contribute significant funds to complete the transaction.
The organization said it is in the process of raising additional funds to help with the acquisition, including submitting a grant application to the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, and that it will keep the public informed as plans for enhancing the property unfold.
“Our intent from the outset was to support Sal Gilbertie and save his farm from development, and we are thrilled to now put it in ALT’s hands for the long term. We strongly support ALT’S vision of the farm as a transformational open space centerpiece for their Green Corridor Initiative,” Levinson said.