Topics: Agriculture & Farming

Neighbors Not Satisfied With Farm Compliance Efforts

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — Resilient Family Farm continues to have two outstanding issues to address after a cease and desist order was issued by the board of health last April. Those issues relate to the operation of an unlicensed piggery and manure management noncompliance. Last week the health board declared commercial piggeries a noisome trade and will licensing them on a site-by-site basis (see story, page 1). The farm ow...

Health Board To Conduct Public Hearing On Piggeries

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — There has been a lot of discussion about farms in residential areas and their impacts on neighborhoods over the past year. The operation of a piggery in such a location now has the board of health weighing if such an facility is a “noisome trade” and whether there should be restrictions or even prohibitions on piggeries in town. The board has scheduled a public hearing Tuesday evening to solicit comm...

Dancing With The Produce At Harwich Farmers' Market

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The Harwich Farmers' Market was in full swing last week, led by the Cape Cod Chamber Ensemble. There will be plenty of other opportunities to dance alongside fresh produce into early October; the market will be open every Thursday. The town's agricultural committee, in cooperation with the Harwich Historical Society, sponsors the Farmers' market on the grounds of Brooks Academy. Local farmers provide...

HARWICH — The battle over Resilient Family Farms and town regulatory control continues as the board of health seeks to address an alleged unlicensed piggery and manure management issues at the Chatham Road farm. Farm owner Barry Viprino was before the board of health a week ago addressing charges in a cease and desist order issued in April relating to the piggery, the absence of a wholesale food license and ma...

At U.N., Tolley Touts Small-scale Fisheries

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Fisheries activist Brett Tolley of Chatham has told many people about the plight of small-scale fishermen like his father, who left the industry because he couldn't compete with big corporate interests. Last week, he told that story to world leaders in a special forum at the United Nations in New York. A proud member of a fourth-generation fishing family, Tolley works as a community organizer and p...

HARWICH — The Resilient Family Farm is under more town pressure to bring the commercial farming operation into compliance with town requirements. Building Commissioner Raymond Chesley has requested applications be filed with his department for “unpermitted” structures on the property. The property owner, Barry Dino Viprino, has contended he is operating a farm that has established agricultural exemptions at 35...

HARWICH — The conservation commission has been struggling for several months with ownership and land use issues with the Brewster-based Eldredge Farm. Last week, farm owner Jeff Eldredge received a little more support from the commission. The main issue in the use of the 4.9 acres on the Harwich side of the town boundary, ownership of the land, has yet to be settled. The town's assessing department does not re...

CHATHAM — Selectmen joined a handful of other town boards Tuesday in endorsing a local entrepreneur's pilot project to grow sugar kelp, a kind of native seaweed that can be eaten, used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, or converted into biofuel. Jamie Bassett told the board this week about his plans to grow the kelp in two test plots, one just inside the new break in Lighthouse Beach near Outermost Harbor,...

HARWICH — The health department has issued a cease and desist on the wholesale food and piggery operations at Resilient Family Farm. The department is also seeking immediate compliance with best management practices for manure storage. The cease and desist order was issued to owner Barry Dino Viprino the day before the health department issued a report on a complaint about contaminated surface water in the cre...

Mobile Shellfish Nursery Planned For Allen Harbor

By: Bill Galvin

HARWICH — Aquaculture is certainly a growth industry on the Cape and producing seed shellfish is essential to marine farming. There are ongoing efforts in the Herring River to develop a shellfish nursery and the conservation commission has now approved a mobile nursery along the edge of Allen Harbor. Fran Zarette, the owner of the former fish house on the Herring River, has been doing battle with a neighbor ...

DEP Conducts Appeal Hearing On Resilient Family Farm

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The state Department of Environmental Protection conducted an onsite hearing last week at the Resilient Family Farm off Chatham Road at the request of owner Barry Dino Viprino, who is asking the state to reverse a conservation commission ruling that the farm is not exempt from Wetland Protection Act provisions. The commission made the decision at a hearing in mid-February after determining the farm h...

Putnam Farm Growing Season Delayed To 2018

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — To every time, there is a season. Unfortunately, the time for the first season of community gardening at Putnam Farm won't be this year. There have been many encouraging signs for getting under way at the municipally-owned property behind Second District Court, but the town will not be able to put through an access way from Bridge Road until the fall. “The water is in, but it's not on,” agricult...

No Agricultural Exemption For Viprino Farm

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — The conservation commission ruled last week that Resilient Family Farm on Chatham Road needs to undergo their review when seeking permission to carry out work within the 100-foot buffer zone to wetlands. Farm Owner Barry Viprino had sought an agricultural exemption from commission review, but commissioners disagreed Wednesday, saying a previous horse boarding operation on the property doesn't qualify...

Helping Hands Sought For Hemeon Farm

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH – Brent Hemeon has been working the soil on his farm between Grassy Pond and Bank Street for nearly 30 years, producing an abundance of fruit, berries, vegetables and salad greens, many marketed through his farm stand or sold to restaurants featuring locally grown produce. Hemeon has long had a love of the land and what it produces, including trees. The farm has approximately 200 fruit trees –apple, pe...