Background: Operating on 2.5 acres of town-owned land, the Newton Community Farm in Newton, MA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit farm that provides year-round educational opportunities to the local community while also selling its produce through an 80-member CSA, a farmers’ market, and a farm stand. In addition, the farm donates a portion of their produce to local food pantries. With the farm now in its eleventh season, farm manager Greg Maslowe and the Board of Directors are focusing anew on sustainability measures to carry Newton Community Farm through its second decade.
Legal Need: Greg wanted to install solar panels on the barn’s roof but had numerous questions about panel leasing, financing, and licensing as a 501(c)(3). Additionally, several community members had expressed interest in providing loans to fund the solar panel project. Greg sought legal assistance to determine what approach to installing the solar panels would best suit the farm’s needs, whether loans from the community members were possible, and, if so, to finalize the arrangement.
The Relationship: Legal Food hub connected Greg with Brook Detterman at Beveridge & Diamond. Brook has helped address Newton Community Farm’s questions and concerns and continues to work with them to bring the project to fruition.