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Posts Tagged ‘groton’

There are people who want to grow crops but have no land and people with arable land that lies fallow, and never the twain shall meet.

Oh, wait a minute.

“Susan and Paul Shay bought their four-acre dream spread years ago, with the idea of returning some of the land to farming,” writes Michael Prager at the Boston Globe.

“Meanwhile, when Seona Ngufor immigrated to America 10 years ago, she held onto the idea she would take up farming — as in her native Cameroon — if only she could get access to a farmable plot. …

“They were brought together by an unusual matchmaking service that uses geographic information system mapping data to pair would-be farmers with property owners who have extra land.

“The matching service is the work of the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, a nonprofit organization in Lowell that trains farmers in organic growing and helps them find a plot to work. …

“New Entry uses GIS mapping data to screen for potential farm plots. The map sets contain a long list of criteria to distinguish individual parcels. … The system is so sophisticated it can pick out suburban homesteads with large patches of unused land, so New Entry was no longer limited to looking at obvious candidates, such as existing farms. …

“Once New Entry identifies sites, it approaches agricultural officials in the towns involved to work with landowners interested in turning over property to farmers.

“In Groton, for example, New Entry and the town’s agricultural commission hosted an information session with property owners. …

“ ‘There was a lot of information, a lot of resources,’ said Susan Shay, 63, a programmer and analyst at a medical malpractice insurer in Boston. …

Program director Rebecca Weaver “brought Ngufor, 56, who had taken the New Entry training program, to meet the Shays. …

“The Shays were so eager to see some of their land used for farming that they drove an easy bargain: rent of $1 a year, in exchange for a free go at whatever is growing.”

To see how New Entry’s maps identify potential farm space and to read the whole story, see the Globe article, here.

Photograph: Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff
Susan Shay (left) leased land she owns in Groton to Cameroon native Seona Ngufor for farming. Ngufor has just completed her first growing season.

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Last weekend my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson stayed in a cabin near Groton, New Hampshire, because John was going to be in a triathlon (swimming, biking, running) the next day. The cabin was in the woods near a lake. In the night, they heard a strange sound, and although she had never seen a moose, my daughter-in-law had a theory that it was a moose. When she got home, she did an Internet search, and sent me a little audio of the sound they heard in their cabin. Here it is.

If you e-mail me at suzannesmom@lunaandstella.com, I will use your comments in a post.

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