LEE — The owners of Tuckaway family farm in Lee have set aside 36 acres for conservation from a recent property purchase to expand the operation.
The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (Forest Society) worked with the Cox family, Dorn and Sarah Cox — acting through Westwick Farming LLC — and Dorn’s parents, Chuck and Laurel Cox, to buy a conservation easement on a 36-acre parcel of land that was recently acquired by the family as an addition to Tuckaway Farm.
The existing Tuckaway Farm is already protected with a conservation easement.
Tuckaway Farm is a three-generation family farm “tucked away” along the Oyster River, two miles from the University of New Hampshire.
The Cox family has farmed this abutting 36 acres of land for nearly 40 years, and the parcel is an important component to their farm, for grazing, hay, corn, and other grains in the fields.
The historic home on the property is excluded from the easement and will become an agricultural community center run by Tuckaway Farm.
The Cox family operates an organic farm, growing vegetables, fruits, hay, mushrooms, and grains, as well as pastured lamb and eggs. They offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares and a Bread Club to residents, as well as working with Seacoast restaurants, markets, and school districts.
“Our family has been caring for this land for more than 40 years and are grateful to be able to continue stewarding it with the support of our community for years to come,” Dorn Cox said in a statement.
One hundred percent of the property is located within a priority focus area of the Great Bay Partnership’s Coastal Conservation plan. The new easement is surrounded by other conservation easements, including the Forest Society’s 192-acre Powder Major’s Forest and the Town of Lee’s existing farm conservation easement on Tuckaway Farm and the historic Randall Farm (1719).
“This project, while small in acreage, is big in public benefits and conservation value,” said Brian Hotz, vice president for land conservation at the Forest Society.
Federal, state and private donors came together to help conserve the 36 acres on Tuckaway Farm, including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Services, the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, the State of New Hampshire Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund, the New Hampshire Farm Future Fund, Great Bay 2020, and support from more than 200 private donors.