Composting farm owner disappointed with town’s stance

Composting farm owner disappointed with town’s stance

We would like to take this opportunity to express our disappointment with the town of North Smithfield while we continue waiting for the dispensation of the Buxton Hollow Farm zoning violation.

I have lived in North Smithfield all my life. I have fought to protect the rural environment and hoped to help to grow. Our disappointment is with its “convenient application” of the motto “we are protecting our rural character” without realizing the depth of its true meaning. Disappointment that our town continues to make incredibly poor decisions on matters that ultimately have harmful environmental impact. Conclusions made without environmental sensitivity and obviously with very little knowledge in physical science.

Most unsettling is the town’s oblivious stance toward opportunities that could make a positive difference to the environment in our community and a leadership with total disregard of the state’s biodegradable waste legislation and complete indifference to Department of Environmental Management’s recommendations.

Sadly, we are experiencing misguided judgments affecting our local farms, farmland and open space ultimately offering only negativity and criticism in return. If we genuinely want a healthy environment in our town’s future, this counterproductive decision-making process requires a change. Starting with the justification on how these decisions are made without the knowledge needed to safeguard the sensitivity of our troubled environment, including a review of the rationalization on why there is no engagement in dialogue that would lead to guidance or assistance that truly preserves our rural heritage.

Maybe it is the way I was brought up, but it seems that the days of a “good neighbor policy” of helping your neighbor, started with dialogue, are now only a memory. Today our town’s leadership is guided by a new motto fettered in discouragement and pessimism, “no farms in my neighborhood.” Understanding this new motto all too well, my wife and I feel that at our age we have much more time behind us than in front of us. So, after hearing and especially feeling the depth of the negativity, suffering the bruises of unfounded criticism, and the overwhelming shock of outrageous distortions of the truth, all directed at our farm and its school, we have chosen not to wait for the town’s inevitable environmental awakening.

For all those that understand how important soil health is to our own health, we are incredibly grateful to you for the years of encouragement and support of our mandate to pass on the knowledge and techniques in truly regenerative agriculture.

Please continue to encourage sustainability in agriculture. Our children will thank you.

Frank Jacques

Buxton Hollow Farm & the Center for Sustainable Organic Agriculture

North Smithfield