Long Meadow Ranch

ORGANIC FARM PUTS LAND IN EASEMENT: Long Meadow Ranch decides to protect 158 acres from development

The Napa Valley Register Wednesday, March 29, 2000

From Register Staff

Easement MapThe owners of an organic farming operation on Whitehall Lane have created a 158-acre conservation easement over forested watershed and agricultural lands.

Ted and Laddie Hall, owners of the Long Meadow Ranch, placed the land use restriction on land west of Whitehall Lane that includes 10 acres of vineyard and an olive grove. Further development will be prohibited.

This is the Halls' second conservation easement arranged through the Napa County Land Trust. Two years ago, they placed controls on 88 adjoining acres.

The Halls receive state and federal income tax benefits on the value of the lost development potential.

John Hoffnagle, executive director of the Land Trust, said the Halls' easements are part of a larger area of protected land on the Mayacamas mountain range.

A neighbor, David Garden, has a 607-acre conservation easement on his property. Sugarloaf State Park, another protected area, lies to the west in Sonoma County.

Long Meadow Ranch is a diversified organic farming operation, with a winery, an ultra-premium olive oil operation under the Prato Lungo brand, a herd of Highland cattle, a small commercial organic vegetable garden, an egg-laying poultry flock and Appaloosa horses.

"Ten years ago, the Long Meadow Ranch property was in the hands of real estate developers," Hoffnagle said in a news release. "What the county faced was a development of eight or 10 huge hillside houses that would be in plain view of every tourist and resident that traveled on Highway 29.

"Instead, we are graced with an enlightened owner and an integrated agricultural operation that others could learn from."

Ted Hall said; "Our integrated organic farming approach depends on the local wildlife and on a protected watershed for its success. We hope our family and neighbors will be here in 100 years still farming and enjoying this wonderful property."

The Land Trust is a non-profit organization responsible for the protection of nearly 15,000 acres of Napa County open space and agricultural lands. It has been the mechanism for 50 families and companies to preserve their properties.