A Letter from Board Member and Local Farmer Jennifer Pike

August 26, 2022

Jennifer Pike

Thank you so much for your support of the Peconic Land Trust! Hopefully you are enjoying the fruits and vegetables grown on some of the many acres and farms protected by the Trust, maybe even at Pike Farms, the farm and stand operated by my husband and me for many years. The Peconic Land Trust conserved our farm, not just for us, but for the generations of farmers and people to come long after we are gone.

Like you, Jim and I had always known about and supported the Trust, pained by the sight of house after house going up where crops used to grow.

As first-generation farmers without financial means to purchase land on the East End, Jim and I rented 60 acres and knew one day it could be put up for sale. And, sure enough, one day it was. The unprotected farmland, the site of our farmstand, was going to be sold to developers. But when it was our turn to try to keep the land we loved, we saw the Trust in action, firsthand.

The Trust corralled and cajoled the Town, the County, the Village, neighbors, customers, the seller, and everyone else needed to preserve what is now our beautiful farmland. Not just for us or for now, but forever. Through some very creative problem solving, fundraising, and community building by the Trust, we were able to continue farming this property and must pass it on to another farmer when the time comes.

While our story has a happy ending, unfortunately many do not. As the price of farmland skyrockets, whether protected or not, more and more farmers are being forced to sell their farms. Our local farmers are aging, new farmers are locating elsewhere. But the Trust is dedicated to addressing these challenges and is making sure that we are all still able to enjoy fresh, locally grown food. They work to protect the farmer and the farmland.

Jim and I give to the Trust because we can’t imagine what this place might look like without their work. Their mission is very personal to us – but it should be for everyone who eats a warm tomato or an ear of sweet corn or has a cool drink of water or a great fish dinner. None of this should be taken for granted – it is too easy to lose and too hard to replace.

Your support is what allows the Trust to continue their work protecting our beautiful home.

Thank you so much for your involvement, your support, and your love of this special place. I hope to see you at our farm one day soon!

With gratitude,

Jennifer Pike

Pike Farms, Sagaponack

Board of Directors, Peconic Land Trust

P.S. There are so many reasons to support the Trust – protecting farmland and natural lands, supporting water quality initiatives, educating the community, and so much more – whatever your reason, I am grateful for you! 

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Peconic Land Trust needs your support to protect the working farms, natural lands, and heritage of Long Island.