In June of 2020, the Somali Bantu Community Association, a founding member of the Little Jubba Central Maine Agrarian Commons, toured a prospective 104 acre organic farm in Wales, Maine as part of their journey to find a permanent home for their organization and land security for over 210 families who participate in the SBCA’s Liberation Farms program. On August 24, 2020 - just a few months later - the Little Jubba Central Maine AC raised the initial $367,000 to acquire this land. This is permanent land transformation. The Agrarian Commons holds land in perpetuity, protected against future development, and conveys equitable, renewable leases to farmers and communities for 99+ renewable years. As of September 2020, the SBCA has their lease in hand. Learn more about the 1,500 individual donors and the various local and regional partners who all came together to make this possible.
The Little Jubba Central Maine Agrarian Commons still needs you.
Acquiring this property is a momentous first step that signifies exciting growth for the SBCA, but this is the tip of the iceberg! Please support the Little Jubba Central Maine Agrarian Commons to complete the land transition, invest in the farm and soil, and expand capacity. Click here to donate.
PROGRESS ON THE LAND
- NPR: A Community Approach to Farmland
- Maine Monitor: Farming helps reduce food insecurity among Somali Bantu community in Lewiston-Auburn
- Mainebiz: New Mainers group raises $367K to purchase Androscoggin County farm
- Sun Journal: Wales land opens world of possibilities for Somali Bantu farmers
- FOX22: Farmers help Somali Bantu community buy community farm
- WGME: Somali immigrants find dream farming land in Wales
- Civil Eats: Could Putting Farmland in the Commons Support Land Justice and Sustainability?
Erin explains why she gave. Hear from others here.
LITTLE JUBBA AND THE SBCA
STILL NEED YOU
Now that the farm acquisition fundraise is complete, additional funds are needed for specific projects to ensure viable and long-term success in food production, farm viability, and stewarding the land:
FARM PLANNING & INVESTMENT IN SOIL AND ECOSYSTEM - $52,000 NEEDED
- $10,000 for soil regeneration and pollinator habitat investments
- $10,000 for contractor services
- $8,000 for farm layout planning
- $5,000 for seeds - cover crop and pasture enhancement
- $4,000 for Agrarian Trust and SBCA staff time
- $15,000 for interpretation, content development, educational video production for lease and conservation easement (similar to the bylaws video), signage, and community engagement around Liberation Farms and the Little Jubba Central Maine Agrarian Commons
We are currently engaged in a planning process with regional experts and local partners to create best practices for land use, including a significant focus on soil-building that will create viable food production and healthy, thriving ecosystems now and into the future. This planning process began with assessments of the existing property and whole-space planning and visioning from multiple perspectives. We expect that some hay production will continue with a majority of the farmland converting to annual and perennial food production.
Priorities for the stewardship investment in the months ahead include soil-building, weed suppression, pest management, improving pasture land, native and non-native annual and perennial cover cropping, and a focus on increased production yields, as well as holistic site planning to develop spaces that are productive, diverse, and viable for humans and entire ecosystems to thrive in the long-term.
DEBT SERVICE PAYOFF - $200,000 NEEDED
This $200,000 goal represents a final seller-held debt tied to the land that must be paid off within 4 years from the date of acquisition. In addition to your donations, Agrarian Trust is pursuing grants and foundational support to raise the needed funds. An initial $80,000 toward this goal comes from Maine Farmland Trust’s acquisition of a conservation easement on the land. The conservation easement will protect the farmland soils, waterways, forestland, and habitats in perpetuity.
Agrarian Trust is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Your donations are 100% tax-deductible.