The Former Barn Reborn As a Community Hub

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By Debra Jo Immergut / Photos by Christopher Churchill
A New England barn is wired to provide power and produce to the community.

In farming, success is all in the balance: between sun and rain, toil and time. At Powisset Farm in Dover, Massachusetts, a 106-acre swath of land that has been cultivated for some three centuries, it’s also about striking the right mix of tradition and technology. Previously owned by Boston Brahmin Amelia Peabody, the farm is now a model of the Community Supported Agriculture movement, provisioning more than 300 member families with fresh fruit and vegetables. In 2014, the land preservation group Trustees of Reservations, which owns Powisset, embarked on a re-novation of its century-old barn, adding a net-positive teaching kitchen and building the lower level into a root cellar. "It was a drafty New England barn with old wood floors, single-pane windows, and doors that didn’t close well," recalls architect Stephanie Horowitz of Boston’s ZeroEnergy Design, the firm hired to reimagine the structure.  

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