Pesce Farm in Bolton Permanently Protected
Federal, State, and Nonprofit Partnerships Ensure Farmland Remains for Future Generations
(Hartford, CT) – The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) is pleased to announce the preservation of Pesce Farm in Bolton. This 68-acre farm was protected in concert with Connecticut Farmland Trust (CFT), USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), and Bolton Land Trust bringing the tally of farms protected this calendar year by CT DoAg to five farms and 333 acres. Since the inception of the program in 1979 the state has protected 404 farms and 47,679 acres.
“This has been a family farm for 118 years and it was important to myself and my two nieces that we keep the land available for future farming,” said Larry Pesce, owner of the property. “I grew up in Bolton and there were 40 farms here then. Not as many remain today, and we are grateful for the work of the Bolton Land Trust and other partners to bring this to fruition.”,
Pesce has been working the farm, started by his parents Aldo and Iside Pesce in the early 1930’s, his entire life. The farm specializes in pick-your-own strawberries and offers a variety of fruits and vegetables at their farmstand. In addition to vegetables and fruit trees, the farm also produces hay for sale and is well-known for being the site of the Bolton Land Trust’s annual Strawberry at Sunset event.
“The forward thinking of our farmland owners and family members to protect their working lands is critical to provide an abundant local food supply,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “The permanent protection of Pesce Farm will ensure that the local community remains connected to where their food is from. This wouldn’t be possible without the support of local, state, and federal partners working in concert with the landowner.”
Pesce Farm, located within a suburban town filled with residential development and small businesses, is near Barger Farm and Rose Farm, creating a cluster of permanently protected prime and important soils critical to agricultural production. Almost 100% of the soil on Pesce Farm is important agricultural soil.
“NRCS is committed to protecting our state’s valuable working lands,” said Thomas L. Morgart, Connecticut State Conservationist for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “The conservation easement placed on the Pesce Farm in Bolton through this partnership ensures that these 68+ acres will never be subject to development. Almost the entire parcel is comprised of prime, statewide, and local important soils – meaning high yielding soils that are key to meeting short- and long-term needs to feed and clothe a hungry world,” he said.
Through the NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), agricultural land easements protect the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing the conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses. Land protected by these types of easements provide additional public benefits including environmental quality, historic preservation, wildlife habitat, and protection of open space. Connecticut Farmland Trust and Bolton Land Trust assisted to secure funding through the USDA-NRCS ACEP-ALE program.
“Working with the Pesce Family to achieve their vision of the land remaining as farmland forever was a great privilege,” said Kathleen Doherty, Connecticut Farmland Trust’s Conservation Manager. She added “Keeping CT’s working lands in production benefits all residents, from people alive today who enjoy Pesce Farm’s strawberries in June, to future CT generations who will appreciate the state’s ability to produce its own food.”
For more information on Connecticut’s Farmland Preservation Program, visit our website for program overview, frequently asked questions, and contact information.
Connecticut Farmland Trust is the only land trust in the state dedicated solely to the protection of agricultural land. Since its founding in 2002, CFT has protected 72 family farms, covering more than 5,411 acres. CFT, a private accredited nonprofit, works with farm owners, community organizations, and local, state, and federal agencies to protect the best Connecticut farmland for current and future generations of farmers. Learn more at CTFarmland.org.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service – an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture – helps America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners conserve the nation’s soil, water, air, and other natural resources. All programs are voluntary and offer science-based solutions that benefit both the landowner and the environment.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state's citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state's economy. For more information, visit www.CTGrown.gov.
For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 8, 2022
Contact: Rebecca Eddy, 860-573-0323, Rebecca.Eddy@ct.gov