Instead of selling their land to the highest bidder, Joe and Susan Driscoll, of Honey Creek, Iowa, decided to set it aside for a non-profit teaching farm run by Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT)
The Driscolls sold 53 of their 80 acres at a discounted rate rather than watch it go to seed.
SILT will hold an event on July 8 in Honey Creek to explain how other landowners can do the same. Based in Des Moines, SILT has one other property so far, a 40-acre plot in south-central Iowa and is trying to raise $400,000 in private funds to convert the Driscoll land into a teaching farm.
The land had been in Driscoll hands for three generations but Joe Driscoll, 72, did not want to see the land go to home developers or turned into an corporate farm.
SILT’s mission is to help make small farms affordable by obtaining land and renting to farmers; and encourage organic farming of locally grown fruits and vegetables.