Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bean Farm News - A Late December Ruling in Favor of Farming the Land

The latest news on the sale of 47 acres in Florence to the City of Northampton stands to benefit those who vote with their mud boots.

On December 28, 2009, The Historic Commission voted 6-1 meeting to endorse preservation of the Bean Farm primarily for agriculture, according to an e-mail sent by Grow Food Northampton, a grass roots organization dedicated to local food security.

The sellers of the farm, the Bean Family, have requested a deadline from the City of Northampton of early February to decide whether or not to purchase the property for an agreed upon sum of $910,000. It has been on the market for over a year. Farmers aren't the only factions interested in the property.

The City has formed a Task Force to examine the issues surrounding a potential purchase. The Task Force consists of representatives of the City's Preservation, Recreation and Agricultural Commissions, as well as an individual from the Zoning Revisions Committee. It is chaired by Ward 7 City Councilor-elect Gene Tacy. Upcoming meetings and public forums designed to impart and collect information from citizens will be announced periodically. (See "events" section of blog.)

The Grow Food Northampton e-mail also announced that farm experts have banded together to advise the City's Agricultural Commission. The group consists of Michael Docter, Food Bank Farm founder, Dan Kaplan of Brookfield Farm, Phil Korman, Executive Director of CISA, Ben Grosscup of NOFA and 3 others.

Members of Grow Food Northampton will be at Winter Fare on Saturday, January 9 in Northampton to raise awareness about the cause. More about the organization can be found at the Grow Food Northampton website.

For documentation on the Northampton Planning Department's interaction with the Bean Family family and others, as well as upcoming meetings, visit the Office of Planning website.

Photo, City of Northampton, Department of Planning