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Presentation to Special Town Meeting on Busa Farm


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This is the slide presentation offered by Janet Kern from the citizen's microphone to the Special Town Meeting preparing to vote on the purchase of Busa Farm on May 6, 2009. She appeals to the Town to work together to consider all the possibilities that a community farm could offer Lexington.

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Presentation to Special Town Meeting on Busa Farm

  1. 1. Lexington’s Farming Heritage My name is Janet Kern and I live at 72 Lowell St, in the 1789 farmhouse of what used to be the Reed Dairy Farm, 3 houses away from Busa Farm. Our house and our location has given us the unique opportunity to consider both the cultural AND longstanding agricultural heritage of Lexington, formerly of course, Cambridge Farms.
  2. 2. A large group of abutters and neighbors of the property has asked me to voice our collective enthusiastic support for the purchase of this property.
  3. 3. We hope that tonight begins a process in Town that we can all feel proud of - that considers all possible and appropriate uses of the property, that truly includes the whole Lexington community , that considers the particular concerns of neighbors, but most importantly that does not ultimately move forward with any particular idea before all uses are considered. This 8-acre site is large enough to contain both a good-sized farm and other uses. There may well be enough room to put in a ballfield, parking, an affordable house and a few acres of farmland -*if* the planners keep all those uses in mind.
  4. 4. I’d like to begin that process right now. Because you’ve only been presented with one vision for the use of the property, I’d like to provide you with another that includes input from over 30 Lexington taxpayers in the past week who have contacted me, including Gus Schumacher, former Under Secretary of Agriculture for the USDA whose family farm that was on Wood Street you see in front of you.
  5. 5. There are many compelling reasons to keep as much of the land as possible as a working farm:
  6. 6. - Preserving the longstanding cultural and agricultural heritage of Lexington
  7. 7. …which is quickly being lost…
  8. 8. A Working farm kept in productive use will cost the town little or no additional money.
  9. 9. A working farm keeps money in the local economy
  10. 10. • Local food source • Food security • Health • Employment • Community Service Opportunities • Recreation • Education • Access to fresh food by elderly and underprivileged • More… Any one of these reasons listed is compelling - a local farm gives back to the community ALL of them…
  11. 11. There are also many different models for a town to have a working farm: - The town could ease the land back to farmers
  12. 12. What is a Community Farm? Non-profits can run a community farm or a CSA- done in many of our surrounding towns - Natick
  13. 13. Weston:
  14. 14. Waltham
  15. 15. Concord
  16. 16. Newton
  17. 17. Lincoln
  18. 18. And many of you may have read in the Globe last Sunday about the huge interest by youth and the demand for programs at farms for both recreation AND education.
  19. 19. Lincoln, MA Nationally recognized programs are right next door: There is a huge demand and there are limitless possibilities -
  20. 20. …If we take the time to educate ourselves , keep an open mind, and…
  21. 21. …join together with a true community vision that values this wonderful piece of land for the future of ALL our citizens.