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Winooski Conservation District Leads Watershed Efforts

Winooski Conservation District Leads Watershed Efforts | Vermont NRCS

Community Rallies to Protect Barber Farm


Charlie and Jean Siegchrist of Jericho recently sold 148 acres into a conservation easement

Charlie and Jean Siegchrist of Jericho Vermont sold 148 acres of their farm into a conservation easement that will keep the land in agriculture.

The Barber Farm has been part of the Jericho community for generations. The farm’s history goes back to 1774, when it was the third property settled in Jericho. The farm’s current owners, Charlie and Jean Siegchrist, and their family have farmed the land for more than 60 years. The Siegchrists and the local community worked with Vermont Land Trust (VLT) and the Jericho Underhill Land Trust to conserve the farm, ensuring it can be used to supply local food for years to come.

The Siegchrists currently lease the land to the nearby Jericho Settlers’ Farm, which uses it to grow vegetables and graze beef cattle, sheep, and chickens. The farm supports their popular CSA (community supported agriculture) and also provides food to nearby towns at farmers’ markets and grocery stores. “This land has great history and beauty,” said Jean. “It has provided a living to many and has been loved by generations. Keeping the land open and available for farming is the right thing to do for future generations of community and neighbors.”

The Siegchrists worked with the Vermont Land Trust and generously sold the conservation easement for significantly less than market value, and the community rallied in support of the project with a local fundraising effort. The project includes an extension from an existing trail network to the top of the Barber Farm meadows, offering sweeping views of Camel’s Hump. This project was made possible with funding from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS), the Town of Jericho, and more than 100 individuals. (October 2010)