63 More Acres of Wm. H. Buckley Farm Conserved
On Friday, April 12, 2019, Saratoga PLAN finalized a second easement on Wm. H Buckley Farm, a working farm situated on a picturesque ridge overlooking Ballston Lake, on Route 50 in the Town of Ballston. Friday’s closing added 63 acres to the 252 acres conserved in 2015, for a total of 315 acres which will be protected for agricultural uses in perpetuity.
Property owner and farmer Mark Sacco, who donated a portion of the easement value, explained, “We’re Americans in the 21st century. We live unlike anyone in the history of the world,” highlighting the need not only to protect land in an area facing high rates of development, but also to farm on it responsibly. With 315 acres of land protected in perpetuity, Sacco feels that he is fulfilling that obligation to the land.
Wm. H. Buckley Farm raises beef cattle, heritage breed pigs, chickens, and turkeys “the way nature intended,” their website reads. Animals are raised in open pasture and are fed an all-natural diet without hormones or antibiotics. “Our meat moves a matter of feet,” Sacco said, noting that the meat, sold in a butcher shop on-site, is cleaner and healthier, with a flavor beyond compare. In keeping with natural management practices, the farm’s main defense against predators are a pack of Maremma Sheepdogs that attentively patrol the property at night.
With 3,000 animals, hundreds of fruit trees, and five hives producing 300 pounds of honey a year, the Wm. H. Buckley Farm is certainly buzzing. And in order to keep up with the farm’s costs, Sacco has tapped into his entrepreneurial spirit, opening a café, smokehouses, butcher shop, event venue, and rental farmhouses and cottages. Doing so allowed him to marry his three objectives of land conservation, farming, and business; “a blend of fitting into the environment, getting the land to produce, and growing the enterprise,” he said. His local customer base enjoys his trusted products and support his commitment to responsible farming. The highly recommended butcher and café’s hours are listed on the Wm. H. Buckley Farm website.
How does Sacco feel about his busy days and growing business? “I wouldn’t trade with anybody in the world… I wouldn’t do it.” With this addition of 63 acres Sacco noted, “the Buckley dream continues.”
Saratoga PLAN is continuing to continuing to expand its farmland conservation efforts throughout Saratoga County, with an additional 600 acres of farmland on the docket for 2019. To date Saratoga PLAN holds 26 easements, and has preserved over 7,000 acres of land.