Friday, March 8, 2002
Hayfields and livestock return to Bartlett Farm
The conservation commission topped off a four-hour agenda February 28 by taking a look at preliminary plans for an agricultural restoration project,and later, at recommendations for tune-up operations on four mature conservation parcels. There was intense interest in a proposal from relative newcomer Peter George, who last year purchased historic Bartlett Farm at the corner of Bellows Hill and Estabrook Roads.
Before launching an ambitious "labor of love" to return his 49.2 acres to what they were early in the last century, George offered the commission a sneak preview, complete with photographs, aerial shots and layouts for a functioning farm. His idea is to recreate the old fields and clear some new acreage in preparation for a diverse population of farm animals, including cows, sheep, goats and at least one horse. The land will not be tilled but will provide hayfields and pasture for the livestock.
George said he wanted to assure that the plans were compatible with the provisions and spirit of the conservation restriction (CR) placed on the property by the Bartlett family. He was reassured by CR guru Ken Harte, who agreed his plans coincided with the CR which was written for agricultural use.
Also present was landscape engineer Nicholas Reed, who displayed wetland delineation maps drawn up by Stamski and McNary. Because the potential fields are all in the buffer zone of the ubiquitous wetlands and the proposal calls for a new road that crosses one of them, Reed was anxious to know what replication areas and culverts the ConsCom would require.
Commissioner Chris Kavalauskas expressed concern about runoff problems, since hayfields must be fertilized, although they are allowed to come up to or close to wetlands. She asked that George seek and follow "best management practices" for such acreage. Reed promised her that vegetation would be maintained close to the wetland and noted that many of the edges are already bounded by protective stone walls. George and his consultants will return with a completed Notice of Intent in the near future.
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito