Prodigal Farm Preserved with Easement
Durham County closed on a voluntary conservation easement on the 91-acre Prodigal Farm in the Bahama area in December. Prodigal Farm is located in the watershed for Lake Michie -- a drinking water supply for most Durham residents -- and is owned by David Krabbe and Kathryn Spann. The farm operates a goat dairy and cheese-making facility and directly sells its cheese, cheesecakes, bread and goat meat at two local farmers markets and several restaurants. Prodigal Farm is the 12th farmland conversation easement completed by Durham County, with preserved farmland now totaling 1,982 acres. When farms are voluntarily preserved with conservation easements, they remain in private working ownership, but cannot be subdivided for development in the future. The farms must adhere to best management practices and are limited in the amount of impervious surfaces on the property. Prodigal Farm was awarded a federal Farm and Ranchland Protection Program grant that provided $170,000 towards the easement’s cost. The farm also was awarded a State of North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund grant for $139,500. With the help of these two grants, Durham County only needed to provide a total of $52,300 toward the preservation of this significant farm.