Thursday, January 28, 2016

Conservation Kerfuffle

Wentworth Farm is 80+ acres of open space with Owen's pond in the middle

Last night's Conservation Commission meeting was one part awkward and another part heated as local farmer Matt Kotfila was denied a request to farm one acre of Wentworth Farm and he did not take kindly to that.  In the least.

He was particularly incensed the Commission did not contact all three of his references before a subcommittee of ConCom and Agricultural Commission decided to not recommend to the full board his Request For Proposal response saying it was "not quite ready" and just wasn't a "good fit".

 Matt Kotfila appears (briefly) before Conservation Commission last night

He gave a brief speech that was tinged with anger and closed with, "It can either be a field for dog poop or a field to grow food to help feed poor people."  The Conservation Commission then quickly voted unanimously "Not to issue the license" and will put the property back out to bid.

Mr. Kotfila stormed out of the meeting saying sternly, "You should be ashamed of yourselves!"

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

They should be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

Farming one acre is not farming. It's a garden.

Anonymous said...

And so I guess it will be a field for poop. Love how when someone doesn't get what they want they pull the "it will help the poor" crap.

Anonymous said...

Poop? Amherst is in the national news and you are writing about poop.

Anonymous said...

His youtube channel is full of unintentionally hilarious videos. Just another Amherst hippie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2CwysB6iG4&index=37&list=UUEI4CQgs0bjv2ZNJCAAj5tw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2Ud3eJJTKg&list=UUEI4CQgs0bjv2ZNJCAAj5tw&index=52

Anonymous said...

So he's a little kooky, there aren't any other takers. This is a case of "conservation" run amok. And of course, Amherst Woods dog walkers are famous for preventing land use (i.e. solar array). He should put an anaerobic digester in there instead, see how they like it downwind.

Anonymous said...

Thank God my tax dollars are so wisely being spent...

Anonymous said...

This whole thing stinks of poop to me!

Anonymous said...

Larry, how much money would the town have collected in rent? I ask because I seem to remember they pitched Town Meeting on the CPA acquisition, in part, by saying they would rent a portion out for farming. If they are now turning down potential renters we should know how much money is sent packing. I'm sure it's not much, but still.

Anonymous said...

I want to plant a hippie garden. I can't? No more flower power. I'm an angry hippie .

Anonymous said...

Without UMASS and Amherst College, this is what Amherst would always be like.

Anonymous said...

Do you know how big an acre is? Ever grow a 208' by 208' "garden"? If a 20'x20' garden (which is pretty substantial to work by hand) can help feed 1 family, then an acre "garden" can help feed over 100 families. The fellow may be florid, but don't poo-poo the acreage!

- YF

Anonymous said...

It's not an Amherst Woods dog trail. Lots of people from all over Amherst walk their dogs there. What's wrong with just open land? Does every square inch of land have to provide food or energy? Why can't there just be open space, just for the sake of it?

Anonymous said...

Hear. Hear.

Anonymous said...

12:30, it's not about "every square inch"! Unfortunately the Town's resources are devoted to ever-increasing purchases without any attendant funds for upkeep.

I think the problem with so-called open space is that it doesn't stay that way on its own - at least, not in New England. Without farmers or town employees to clear the land, it will end up overgrown like Mount Pollux - which used to be beautiful open space but the town gave up on mowing and caring for the trees. The conservation department admits it has no intent to maintain the area as documented in July 24, 2015 Gazettenet article "It’s not a high priority for us to remove the vines". They mow it only once a year, so most of time there aren't even viewsover the grass anymore, and it's infested with bittersweet vines and poison ivy. What a shame.

http://www.gazettenet.com/home/17898893-95/artist-who-sought-inspiration-from-mount-pollux-concerned-about-the-future-of-the-view

This Wentworth parcel is a prime example of someone who wants to maintain the property being denied: I think it was misrepresented as "farmland" when in fact, the real intent by staff has always been to let it run wild. Eventually I predict it will be another crappy regrowth forest infested with bittersweet vines and poison ivy.

Anonymous said...

It would not be a good area for farming anyway: the Owen's pond is down gradient from the Amherst's Old Landfill, which is leaching 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogenic contaminant, into the aquifer protection area and the surrounding wetlands. Surprisingly, this on-going contamination it's not an issue the Conservation Commission is concerned about.

Anonymous said...

What???

Anonymous said...

5:53, anon 2:15 wants you to click the link to the Amherst Woods dog walkers website. There, you will find many propaganda to win you over to the BANANA ways.

Anonymous said...

I went there. Watched about a vid and a half. Painfully awful.

Anonymous said...

It's sort of disheartening to see a link to a report by a well-respected environmental consulting group that does little more than simply explain the chemicals present in the area we're talking about described as a "dog walkers website" [sic]. The dog walkers (also known as concerned citizens) are showing you evidence of a carcinogen that's associated with landfills near a landfill and also dangerously near an aquifer that many Amherst residents drink out of. I'd forget about BANANAS for a minute and look at the concerned citizens' concerns.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation. So let the guy farm it and pay the town something. God, you can't be scared of everything.

Anonymous said...

Yeah right. Amherst is just loaded with conservatives. Funny.

Dr. Ed said...

Seems to me that the FIRST thing to do would be to post the whole area "NO TRESSPASSING" and to enforce it. How much damage has been done by people walking on said clay cap?

Matthew Kotfila said...

$125/acre... So $375 in this case.

Matthew Kotfila said...

Thank you so much Mr Larry Kelley.

Matthew Kotfila said...

Who said I didn't get what I want? The proposal was to grow food for the Amherst Survival Center and Not Bread Alone. Do you have a problem with that?

Matthew Kotfila said...

So freestyle dancing and creative song writing is unintentionally hilarious? I'm from Chelmsford, I currently live in Hadley, and I don't see much value in name calling :)

Matthew Kotfila said...

I'll let you know where I end up hippie gardening this season so you can see my flower power first hand. Passion is easily confused with anger. I look forward to meeting you, anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Wow, and you're both just amherst assholes. It goes both ways. He's a farmer, they denied his farming proposal. You're just making fun of him for his hobbies. Like a god damn middle schooler.

Adam Black said...

Kotfila lightin' people up!!

Anonymous said...

2:05 here. Calling someone's video awful even painfully so is not name-calling. Neither is it making fun of him. If you post a plethora of videos you open yourself up to criticism. That's all. I'm sure he's used to it.

Anonymous said...

Or not.

Anonymous said...

This land is unfit to grow food on. Dioxane is leaching into the groundwater, it rises to the surface.
There's deeper issues here that aren't being said.