Mahoosuc Land Trust is grateful for its strong member support. As a member, what connects you to this organization? Is it a strong commitment to land conservation? An affinity to one or more of our properties? A belief that everyone should have access to the outdoors? In this new feature we will regularly profile members’ lifestyles, passions and connections to Mahoosuc Land Trust and the region.
Life is a series of choices. For Eric List and Christine Trefethen, a choice to purchase 5 acres of land in Bethel 20 years ago, is giving them an opportunity to develop a lifestyle that has long been in their dreams.
Back in 1998, Christine and Eric were looking for land that could eventually turn into a self-sustaining homestead. The flat, open parcel, complete with remnants of an apple orchard on the Flat Road showed promise. Slowly, over time, they built their house, created gardens, raised their two children, Eliot and Sophie, rejuvenated the apple trees and planted more. Recently they added chickens, and a couple of cows, sheep and goats and have increased their efforts to fulfill their dream of more personal self-sufficiency and keeping the land as a working farm.
For Eric and Christine, becoming members of Mahoosuc Land Trust mirrored their values of caring for the land and connecting to the community via local agriculture. Currently, they are busy experimenting with different crops and products to see what makes sense financially, fits into their daily rhythms and doesn’t require expansion into large machinery or work crew. Ice cider, cheese and 40 varieties of apples are some of the potential value-added products under consideration. Part of the mission of their farm is to connect people to the natural world through farming and food production. Their farm is associated with a non-profit organization WWOOF - Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms - that links people wanting to learn farming skills with organic farms willing to teach and house the volunteers. This program ensures Eric and Christine a year-round supply of students eager to experience life on a small, organic operation.
In addition to their expertise in creating value added products, Eric has become highly skilled in fruit tree pruning and top grafting. To learn more about the farm, visit Morning Glory Farm’s Facebook page.