Proposals for Lease of Dartmouth Farmland Sought

Helfand Farm

The Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) is seeking proposals from individuals, groups, businesses, and/or non-profit institutions for the lease of farmland at two properties in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The parcels available include approximately 5 acres of land at Destruction Brook Woods Reserve on Slades Corner Road and approximately 14 acres of land at Helfand Farm, located on Chase Road. Interested parties may propose to use the entirety of the available acres at Helfand Farm, or only a portion. The term of the lease would be from approximately December 15, 2023 to December 15, 2033. Applicants can apply for a lease at one or both properties.

DNRT wishes to keep the farmland in agricultural use and is interested in proposals that will maintain or improve the agricultural viability of the land.

Helfand Farm, located at 318 Chase Road, hosts DNRT’s main office, the organic Helfand Farm Community Gardens, and the 14 acres of farmland available for lease. The farmland portion of the property was last actively farmed using organic methods in 2019. Because of the farm’s location within a Zone II aquifer and the current uses of the surrounding land, pesticide use on the property is restricted to chemicals that meet the USDA’s definition of organic. DNRT will only consider proposals for pesticide use at Helfand Farm that adhere to this requirement. Organic certification is not required. Bidders may propose to use all 14 available acres, or a smaller portion depending on their needs.

The Destruction Brook Woods parcel has been used to cultivate corn in the past and is under a temporary lease for cattle pasturing in 2023. Organic farming methods are not required at Destruction Brook Woods.

All bidder questions must be submitted in writing to DNRT will provide written responses on this webpage. Proposals are due in the DNRT Office (318 Chase Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747) by 9:00 AM on Monday, November 6, 2023. DNRT intends to notify applicants of its decision before December 1, 2023.

View Request for Proposal Here.

Farmland FAQs

What is the output of the two wells at Helfand Farm?
There is a well located midway along the stone wall of the north field and another for the middle field just behind Greer’s Garden.  The previous farmer at the property reported getting 18 gallons per minute from each during their time here. Both wells will require a generator and we are unsure of the functionality of the pump on the north field well.

Are there any soil analyses available for either of the lease properties?
DNRT has no data on the soil at the Destruction Brook Woods field. Soil data for the fields at Helfand Farm is available in this PDF.