Topics: Agriculture & Farming

Harvest Time At Cape Cod Lavender Farm

By: Olivia Szymanski

HARWICH – To find a little bit of local magic, look no further than the Cape Cod Lavender Farm. Located off a winding dirt road, the farm is home to a fragrant field of lavender plants, an enchanted fairy garden, and walking trails. Cynthia Sutphin started the farm on her own property 23 years ago, and it has since continued to grow and evolve – the farm now sees between 10,000 and 12,000 visitors each summer....

Farmer Sues Town Over Enforcement Actions

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The owner of Resilient Family Farm, who has been battling with the town for nearly two years over permitting issues, has filed a lengthy lawsuit in Barnstable Superior Court claiming he has been defamed by regulatory boards and department directors and administrators. Barry Dino Viprino has been doing battle with the town over the commercial status of his farm at 35 Chatham Rd. as well as wetland iss...

HARWICH — The waterways committee is supporting a pilot program growing kelp off Herring River this winter, with the understanding that project proponent Mark Kelleher will work with Harbormaster John Rendon to resolve any potential navigation issues. Kelleher will be doing business as Kelpeher Farms and presently is going through the permitting process to locate two kelp arrays outside Herring River. One woul...

Hundreds Turn Out To Meet Their Local Farmers

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The annual Meet Your Local Farmers event held last weekend at the community center was a big success with an estimated 700 people attending. “We were thrilled at the variety of the exhibitors and the excitement they generated,” said Michael Lach, executive director of Harwich Conservation Trust, an event sponsor. “It's a great way to introduce people to the farmers around the Cape.” It is an oppor...

Meet Your Local Farmers Saturday

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — There seems to be a greater interest in knowing where our food comes from and placing locally grown “farm fresh” products on the table. On Saturday, residents have an opportunity to learn more about locally grown products at the ninth annual “Meet Your Local Farmers” at the community center. The event will provide the public with the opportunity to meet and discuss farming techniques and tips with lo...

Health Board Drops Order, Court Appeal, On Viprino Farm

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The board of health voted unanimously this past week to vacate the cease and desist order issued to Resilient Family Farm last April and to drop the court appeal it had filed seeking adherence to suitable manure management practices. The board of health no longer has jurisdiction over the manure management at the farm because there are no longer horses kept there, Health Director Meggan Eldredge told...

You could do a whole December’s worth of shopping with one stop at the Orleans Farmers Market in the cafeteria of Nauset Regional Middle School on a Saturday morning. And everything you’d carry out is locally sourced and perhaps even benefits a charity. If December shopping isn’t for you, this market will continue every Saturday through the end of April. Then it returns to its outdoor venue at Depot Square. ...

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...