Posted Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The Morris County Agriculture Development Board on March 8 permanently preserved the Lare Farm in Chester and Mendham Townships.

The purchase by the Morris CADB restricts the land from non-agricultural uses, thus permanently preserving the 65-acre farm on Mendham Road. The farm is in close proximity to the previously preserved Fox Lair Farm in Roxiticus Valley, as well as the Schiff Natural Preserve.

The Lare Farm has been owned and operated since 1956 by the Lare family, who uses the farm to produce field crops and to breed alpacas.

The purchase was made in conjunction with a grant from the State Agriculture Development Committee, which provided 32 percent of the $1,229,988 acquisition price, with the remaining 68 percent funded by the Morris County Preservation Trust Fund.

In contrast to open space preservation, the landowner retains ownership of, and may even choose to sell, the preserved farmland with a deed restriction ensuring that the land will not undergo non-farm development. Agricultural development of the farm is permitted and the type of farming activity can change in the future.

The Lare Farm is the 115th farm to be permanently preserved in Morris County, bringing the total area for preserved farmland in the County to 7,235 acres or the equivalent of 11.3 square miles.