We are nestled within one of the country's great agricultural hubs. Once called The Breadbasket of New England, the Connecticut River Valley is home to some of the most productive farmland in the nation. In western Massachusetts, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties account for 28 percent of farms in the entire state. Built on a rich tradition of family farming, these operations provide food for their communities, bolster local economies, and lend the region the pastoral character cherished by residents and visitors alike.
Franklin Land Trust works to protect both the working and wild landscapes of our community, including the irreplaceable agricultural lands relied on by farmers of this and future generations. As farmers face increased pressure to develop their land, we work to ensure these vital anchors of the region remain devoted to agricultural use—providing healthy food, economic stability, and scenic beauty for years to come.
This fall, we invite you to explore the connection between the local food you love and the conserved land where it is grown. Use this guide to learn more about working farms in Franklin County, and as a roadmap to discover new farms - and new foods! – in your own backyard.
Learn more about two of our conserved farms:
The Local Food, Local Farms story map and videos were created in part by a grant from the Local Cultural Councils of Charlemont-Hawley, Deerfield, Plainfield, and Shelburne, local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.