In 2002 Ed and Claudia York completed a “bargain sale” to VLT of a conservation easement on their 259-acre beefalo farm in North Greensboro. The Yorks donated half the appraised value of the easement, while the VLT purchased the remaining half, the bulk of the cost being covered by a grant from the Freeman Foundation, and the remainder by the GLT.
Purchased by the Yorks in 2000, the farm contains 62 acres of prime agricultural soils, 27 acres of pasture, and 156 acres of managed forest, including 23 acres of sugarbush. It has 3,400 feet of frontage on Garvin Hill Road, and a broad view of the Stannard-Wheelock Range.
The farm dates from at least the mid-19th century, when the present farmhouse was built. The Yorks added two barns and other outbuildings. For seven years they managed a beefalo herd of 90 animals (beefalo are a cross-breed of 3/8 bison and 5/8 beef cattle (see photo below)). The meat was sold to health food stores, co-ops, and restaurants.
Unfortunately, illness forced the Yorks to sell their beefalo in 2007. In 2014 they sold the farm to Ralph Herbert and Karen Wagner, who resold it in 2016 to Todd Hardie. The land abuts the farm to the north that Hardie bought with VLT assistance in 2016 (see Todd Hardie page). In 2017 Todd planted … acres to barley, much of which will be sold to the Caledonia Spirits distillery in Hardwick and Montpelier. The first picture below shows Hardie (7th from right) and fourteen 2017 GLT hikers in front of the barley field.
In 2004 the Yorks established their homestead on 85.5 acres along Swamp Road, purchased from the Carver family, and donated an easement on it to VLT. This land borders the former beefalo farm to the west. In 2013 the Yorks moved to Lake Willoughby, and Gary and Renee Circosta now own the homestead.