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A Farmer’s Dream Come True

In 1960, the Dominican Sisters of Mercy bought a former farm and vacation residence in a suburban community outside Boston. Over the years, their numbers diminished, and they sold some of the land. But their vision remained constant: to protect the land from development and make it available and affordable for farming.

Land For Good stepped in. After exploring options for agricultural uses, LFG helped the Sisters recruit and select a young farmer to begin a small diverse operation on the remaining five acres. For Derek and Katy Christianson, this was a dream come true.

LFG drafted and negotiated a three-year lease between the Christiansons and the Sisters for land and a farmhouse. Derek quickly launched his operation, began improving the soil, and sank roots in the community.

With very positive landlord-tenant relations established, LFG worked with supportive municipal and land trust partners toward a restriction on the agricultural portion of the property. We also helped the Sisters with additional real estate transactions. The restriction will be designed to assure perpetual affordability for the land and the farmhouse, thereby giving Derek and Katie or another enterprising farmer a realistic option to purchase the farmland and the farmhouse in the future.