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    Town, LexFarm negotiating first lease

    The town’s first community farm could take root next spring, after the selection of a local nonprofit organization to run the operation. Town Manager Carl Valente said the next step is to negotiate the lease with the Lexington Community Farm Coalition, and he is hoping to finalize the agreement by early October. Valente said he and a committee set up to review proposals for the former Busa Farm property on Lowell Street chose LexFarm over a proposal by Fat Moon Farm in Westford. He said LexFarm’s plans to include a strong educational component in its operation of the farm, along with plans to use an experienced farmer to oversee it, factored heavily in the decision. LexFarm president Janet Kern said planning is already underway for the crops and educational programs that will be offered beginning next spring. Kern said LexFarm’s selection is the culmination of years of work by activists who wanted to see the 8-acre property used as a community farm rather than recreational fields. Lexington purchased the land in 2009 for about $4.1 million, and spent a few years debating what to do with it before selectmen voted last year to use most of the land for a community farm, with a portion set aside for affordable housing. The town invited proposals to run the farm earlier this year. “We are really, really excited,” Kern said. “Now we get to move from all the dreaming to actually bringing a community farm to Lexington.”