Farmers protesting pesticide use at nearby field
FLORENCE, Mass. (WWLP) – Grow Food Northampton operates 121 acres of protected farmland in Florence. These gardens and farms abut the new Florence Fields; 24 acres bought by the city that will be used as athletic fields for kids.
Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz recently announced that the city will be treating the field with pesticides, but the move is highly opposed by Lilly Lombard and her group, Grow Food Northampton.
Lombard says that in addition to the 300 community gardeners that work out of these gardens, there are several farms that feed more than 1,000 people. Lombard says the City never notified them of the spraying; a treatment she believes could do more harm than good.
“We don't agree that there's no negative effect to a Round Up spraying of this magnitude. We don't think it's worth the risk. The long-term effects of Round Up aren't clearly established and we want to ask ourselves do we want to be the lab rats?” Lombard said.
On Monday, Narkewicz announced that he will hold off the spraying until he reviews the issue with contractors and city departments. The city's planning director released a memo on Monday saying that there are no significant risks to human or environmental health from a single application of Round Up, and that the Grow Food’s farmland has already been exposed to far more hazardous pesticides than the popular product.
Click here to read the whole memo.
Grow Food has planned a demonstration Tuesday afternoon protesting the move, and hundreds are expected to attend