Pearl Farm in Loudon gets protected

  • The Pearl and Son Farm in Loudon.

  • Bill Fish (left) and Victor Roy load up squash to be planted using the tractor at the Pearl and Son Farm in Loudon on Thursday. Some 300 acres of the farm have been preserved from development GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Bill Fish loads up squash to be planted using the tractor on the Pearl and Son Farm in Loudon on Thursday, June 2, 2022. 300 acres of the farm have been preserved from development GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Bill Fish plants squash using the tractor driven by Victor Roy on the Pearl and Son Farm in Loudon on Thursday, June 2, 2022. 300 acres of the farm have been preserved from development GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Bill Fish plants squash using the tractor driven by Victor Roy on the Pearl and Son Farm in Loudon on Thursday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 6/6/2022 1:20:34 PM

Three years after a big LCHIP grant got the project going, the Pearl Farm in Loudon has finally received long-term protection.

The Trust for Public Land announced last week that the 275-acre farm has been completely covered by a conservation easement, a legal document that prevents development while allowing agriculture and forestry to continue. The easement will be held by the Loudon Conservation Commission.

“It just takes a while to raise money at that scale,” said J.T. Horn, manager for the project under the Trust for Public Land.

Funding for the $850,000 easement purchase came from the Natural Resource Conservation Service, a 2019 grant from the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), Loudon Conservation Fund, and a bargain sale by the landowner. Loudon’s funding passed unanimously at their 2021 town meeting.

Members of the Pearl family have farmed on the Loudon Ridge Road site for four generations, dating back to the late 1800s.

The farm had a dairy operation that ended in the 1990s. In recent years Pearl has expanded vegetables and crops, such as hay, corn, squash and pumpkin, as well as the long-running production of maple syrup, which is largely a wholesale operation that uses vacuum extraction, reverse osmosis and other modern technologies that increase production but also raise operating costs and the need for trained labor.

The money will allow the farm to retire some debt and do some investment, as well as plan for the long-term future.

“When Howard Pearl does retire, it sets the stage for a transition to happen, whenever Howard’s ready … and keep it farming,” Horn said.

Loudon holds conservation easements on several farms in town.


David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog granitegeek.org, as well as moderator of Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.



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