Unlocking the Potential for Urban Agriculture in Burlington

In many New England communities, growing food in urban areas is important to building a more robust food system. CLF is supporting the Burlington Food Council’s efforts to shape Burlington’s agriculture policy with ordinances that promote environmentally responsible urban agriculture and humane livestock husbandry. Through strategic input, technical assistance, and collaboration with Burlington’s Board of Health, Planning Commission, and City Attorney’s Office, CLF is helping the city’s Food Council transform the recommendations contained in Burlington’s Urban Agriculture Task Force Report into on-the-ground realities.

Helping Vermont Farmers Finance Local Food

When farmers seek to start and grow their own farms, the tools available for financing their efforts can be hard to find – and even harder to understand. To demystify and publicize the many community-financing tools already available, the University of Vermont’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture led a collaborative effort to develop the Guide to Financing the Community-Supported Farm: Ways for Farms to Acquire Capital Within Communities.

CLF co-authored the guide and lent our legal expertise to the collaboration, which also included farmers, other attorneys, accountants, and investment professionals. The guide discussed many community-financing tools, including:

  • Owner-financed sales and land contracts
  • Cohousing and cooperative land ownership
  • Equity financing
  • Extended Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares
  • Revenue-based financing
  • Vendor financing
  • Pre-buys

CLF supports Vermont’s great strides toward becoming more food independent, and this Guide serves as an important tool for farmers and food entrepreneurs throughout New England.