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Harry Conklin Fund for Farmsteads launching fundraiser concert series to save Berkshire farmland

Molly Comstock looks out upon her Colfax Farm (copy)

The Harry Conklin Fund for Farmsteads is hosting a fundraiser concert series to help save Berkshire farmland and find a new home for Molly Comstock and Colfax Farm.

GREAT BARRINGTON — For the last decade, Molly Comstock has been a nomadic farmer, but that could all change very soon.

The Harry Conklin Fund for Farmsteads, a project of the Berkshire Community Land Trust, is hosting a fundraiser concert series this summer to help save Berkshire farmland and find a new home for Comstock and Colfax Farm. The kick-off concert will take place 8 p.m., Friday, May 27 at the Apple Tree Inn in Lenox, with Whiskey Treaty Roadshow members Billy Keane and Chris Merenda and special guests. While there is no cover charge, donations are appreciated.

“It is so important that we preserve our community farmsteads here in Berkshire County and beyond. Having local farm fresh produce available at our markets is so beneficial for our health, especially now more than ever. Let’s not only preserve these farmsteads, but also ensure that they grow and thrive for generations to come,” Merenda said in a news release.

The Apple Tree Inn is donating a weekend stay in a premier room in the main house with breakfast for two, a value of over $750 that will be auctioned off the night of the kick-off concert.

The Lucky 5, The BTUs, Comstock’s band, Time on Fire, the Revival Revival, and Lukas Schwartz, also will be performing as part of the summer series.

Comstock, who founded Colfax Farm in 2014, had been farming on leased land in Alford since 2018. The farm lost its lease in 2021. When that happened, the issue of land insecurity faced by many Berkshire farmers — essential to shaping a resilient local food system in a time of climate change — was brought to the forefront. The Harry Conklin Fund for Farmsteads was formed in response. Through community donations, the fund acquires farmland to lease to a local farmer for growing and housing.

Comstock announced in March, through a Go Fund Me page, that “we have identified a site that would provide a home for Colfax Farm, and through the Berkshire Community Land Trust, save the farm into perpetuity for farmers to come. Currently, Comstock has raised slightly over $23,000 of a $350,000 goal through the site, gofund.me/1f54b424. Tax-deductible donations can also be made through the land trust at berkshirecommunitylandtrust.org/get-involved/harry-conklin-fund-for-farmsteads-2

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