Bridgehampton, NY

Hayground Farm

Project Type

Farms for the Future

Acreage

24.6

Things to do

Photography, Farming

Access

Public

Address
Montauk Hwy, Bridgehampton, NY

About

Hayground Farm, with its fertile Bridgehampton silt loam soils, was acquired by the Trust in 2013 from the descendants of William Haines.  Mr. Haines first acquired the land in the 1680’s through a land grant. Undoubtedly, this land was cultivated by Native Americans for generations given its productivity and proximity to Kellis Pond.  It provides travelers on Montauk Highway with a view into the South Fork’s cultural and agricultural heritage.  

Today, the farmland is leased to Peter Dankowski as part of the Trust’s Farms for the Future Initiative. Prior to the Trust’s purchase of the property, the owners sold development rights to Southampton Town in 2002.  Later, in 2016, the Trust sold additional restrictions to the Town including affirmative and affordable farming covenants and resale restrictions that ensure that it will be accessible and affordable for food production forevermore.  

“It’s all about these incredible soils,” said Lee Foster of the South Fork Land Foundation, who partnered with the Trust on the protection of the land. “Once protected, we have a responsibility to care, nurture and use these soils for their best purpose. It is our goal to make the land available to farmers who grow food and to respect the legacy that the soil represents as well as its special capacity to produce crops of benefit to all.”  

Sites

“We are pleased that our land went to an organization that will treasure it and preserve it for agriculture.”

Darrah Yates, pictured with John v.H. Halsey and Clifford Foster in 2013

A Little More on the History

In 2013, The Trust purchased the 20 acres of farmland from the descendants of William Haines, who acquired the land as a consequence of the Little South Division of 1682.

The Trust had worked previously with the family on the sale of the development rights to the Town of Southampton in 2002. Over the intervening years, the appraised value of the protected farmland rose from $15,000/acre to $112,000/acre, an indication of the growing problem of access to affordable farmland that food producers increasingly face.

The Trust was able to purchase the farmland with financial assistance from the South Fork Land Foundation, a supporting organization of the Peconic Land Trust, as well as funding from our Revolving Fund and a loan from a supporter who wishes to remain anonymous.

Over the nine generations under the ownership of the Haines family, the farmland has been in food farming –- first supporting the early generations of settlers and later in production agriculture producing potatoes, corn and other vegetables.

But the land may well have been in production by Native Americans for centuries prior to English settlement.

According to David Martine, Director of the Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum, “Native Americans often raised crops, including the Three Sisters (corn, squash, and beans) near their settlements. This property contains very fertile soils close to a documented Native American settlement in Mecox and is adjacent to Kellis Pond a source of fresh water, so the likelihood is quite high that it was producing food long before Europeans arrive.”

block.image[0].title

Hayground Farm, Spring 2018

With the acquisition of the Haines farmland, the Trust reconnected the land to 4.7 acres of neighboring farmland, acquired by the Peconic Land Trust from Gusty and Jack Folks in 2008. And in 2016, the Trust sold the enhanced easement for food production to the Town of Southampton on the combined farmland of 24.6 acres thus assuring a future for food farming on this land for generations to come.

Through this sale of enhanced rights, the Trust was able to repay the conservation loan and the Revolving Fund, freeing up funding for future conservation opportunities.

“We are pleased that our land went to an organization that will treasure it and preserve it for agriculture. The Trust’s dedication and passion for preserving the East End is very obvious. There are many, I am sure, who appreciate all that you do. My family is one of them,” said Darrah Yates, a descendant of Mr. Haines.

Our thanks to all those who tilled and maintained this land for hundreds and thousands of years, from Native Americans to the descendants of the Haines family.  This land will forever be available for agriculture that feeds and sustains us.

Loading map...
Get Directions

Hayground Farm

Montauk Hwy, Bridgehampton, NY

Things To Do

Photography
Photography
Farming
Farming

Get Involved

For more information about our Farms for the Future Initiative, contact Dan Heston, Senior Manager of Agricultural Programs.