Stephen and Gloria Decatur of Live Power Community Farm in Covelo, California have negotiated a long-sought opportunity to purchase ten abutting acres to add to their 40-acre “solar electric and horse-powered, diversified, certified biodynamic farm.” Managed as a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) with 160 members, Live Power Farm was the first farm Equity Trust protected, back in 1995. At that time, Equity Trust worked closely with the farmers and their CSA members to craft and purchase an innovative agricultural conservation easement that pioneered both the use of resale restrictions to preserve affordability as well as farming requirements that ensure the land will always be used to produce healthy food for the region.
Now, to assist the new acquisition and farm expansion, Equity Trust has provided a short-term loan to the Decaters, allowing them to secure the ten acres while fundraising is completed to pay for the value of extending the agricultural easement to the new parcel. Equity Trust is also working with the Decaters to update the entire easement and strengthen the affordability restrictions, based on knowledge we have gained in the nearly two decades since their groundbreaking easement was first created. When fundraising and the easement drafting are complete, Equity Trust will purchase the development rights and an affordability restriction on the new parcel, thereby permanently reducing the value of the land to a cost farmers can afford, while allowing the Decaturs to repay their loan to us.
We are very pleased that this early example of an affordable working farm continues to thrive and grow.