Suffolk County’s visionary Farmland Preservation Program has just achieved a triumph.The state’s Appellate Division last month rejected a ruling by a state Supreme Court justice in 2016 that hamstrung the program.
Conceived by County Executive John V. N. Klein, the program, begun in 1974, is based on the brilliant and then novel idea of purchasing development rights. Farmers are paid the difference between the value of their land in agriculture and what they could get for it if they sold it to a developer. In return, the land is kept in agriculture in perpetuity. (more…)
Suffolk County government has, at long last, embraced the “advanced” wastewater treatment systems that remove substantial amounts of nitrogen that leach from traditional cesspools. (more…)
“America has been losing over 40 acres of farmland every hour to development,” said the letter I recently received from the American Farmland Trust. “This land — the most fertile soil in the world — is irreplaceable and urgently needed to grow food. It’s a national disgrace on a catastrophic scale.”
With the letter was an American Farmland Trust bumper sticker: “No Farms No Food.” (more…)
Local growers and farmers say climate change is creating new challenges, with extreme weather conditions, sudden storms, rising temperatures and drought making it even more difficult to cope with a perennially unpredictable Mother Nature. (more…)