Litchfield Land Trust President John Markelon, left, and Ben Buck of Sustainable Litchfield were among the participants in the Litchfield Farmers Forum at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center on Saturday. BZ photos
The importance of maintaining a thriving farming community in Litchfield was the topic of the day Saturday at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center.
Wisdom House hosted the second annual Litchfield Farmers Forum to give local farmers and representatives of conservation organizations a chance to discuss issues and share ideas. The forum was organized by Harvey Hubbell and Amy Dyer, representatives of Chanticleer Acres Farm in Litchfield and drew an in-person and virtual crowd.
“We had meaningful dialogue, feedback and input from the attendees,” Dyer said afterwards. “We will be sharing a copy of the forum recording, updated survey results, resources and a summary on our Facebook page (litchfieldctfarmers forum) to keep everyone in the loop and to keep the ball rolling.”
One of the goals was to chart ways farmers can work with the town to ensure a healthy farming environment, one that is in concert with zoning regulations.
“We have some tremendous support and resources who can serve as guides as we navigate the process of understanding what the future of Litchfield’s farming and agricultural needs are,” Dyer said. “We plan to tie in references found within the 2017 Plan of Conservation and Development to support what’s already been anticipated as a need in order to help farmers diversify. We will be extending reach back out to the community for input.”
Guest speaker Joan Nichols, executive director of the Connecticut Farm Bureau, was one of the guest speakers on the dais. She was joined by Litchfield Land Trust President John Markelon and Ben Buck of Sustainable Litchfield. State Rep. David T. Wilson, R-Litchfield, was a virtual participant.
Chanticleer Acres Farm, located on Hutchinson Parkway, is an organic farming operation led by Hubbell. Last fall, Hubbell unsuccessfully sought Planning and Zoning Commission approval to create a teaching farm where organic farming would be taught. The proposal didn’t meet zoning regulations.
Harvey Hubbell and Amy Dyer ran the show during the forum.