2,800 acres of farmland preserved in Warwick

| 06 Mar 2012 | 03:49

An iconic working farm managed by several generations of the Wright family since 1912 will be forever protected as open space and agricultural land under an agreement reached this spring between the Wright family and the Town of Warwick, Open Space Institute and the Orange County Land Trust.

Development rights to the historic 118-acre farm located along a stretch of Kings Highway will be purchased by the town and OSI, ensuring that the land will be forever undeveloped.The plan will also will protect a tributary that feeds directly into Wickham Lake.

About 78 acres of the farm are devoted to field crops, 25 acres consist of pasture for livestock, with the remaining acreage in woods, brush and wetlands. Summer and fall visitors purchase mixed produce and grass-fed beef and participate in autumn and winter festivities such as pumpkin picking and Christmas treeshopping.

Since 2001, John Wright Jr. has practiced no-till corn planting and, more recently, no-till pumpkin planting as well as other sustainable techniques to reduce fossil fuel usage and soil erosion.

The town’s share of the $908,600 purchase price was $590,590, with the Open Space Institute making up the difference.

The barter system makes a comeback

Teach mandolin for an hour, get an hour’s worth of window repairs. And forget that green paper stuff.

Sustainable West Milford is getting onboard with the newest incarnation of an age-old concept: time banking. Thirty people showed up at a recent informational meeting.

Three hundred communities in 22 countries are already using the system. Why? Time Banks provide an infrastructure for neighbors to get to know each other and an incentive system for neighbors to take care of each other.

How? A Web site is created where neighbors list the types of things they can do for each other and where they can log in the number of hours spent helping. For every hour spent doing something for someone in your community, you earn one Time Dollar. You then have a Time Dollar to spend on having someone do something for you. It turns strangers into an extended family. That’s the idea, at least.

West Milford plans to start paying it forward June 1. Who’s next?

Have boat, will bust polluters

Riverkeeper Patrol Boat Captain John Lipscomb puts in about 6,000 nautical miles a year traveling the Hudson River between New York Harbor and Troy. While he’s at it, Lipscomb collects water samples from 75 locations and tests them for sewage contamination levels with his onboard incubator. For this and other services to the river, Lipscomb was honored in April with an environmental Quality Award from the federal Environmental Protection Agency in Region 2.

Gasifier under scrutiny “I don’t think it’s a good idea… Whether incineration, gasification or even if you snap your fingers and disappears it’s not a good thing because the stuff is very valuable.” – Neal Seldman, Institute for Self Reliance, on proposed Taylor gasifier that would convert garbage to electricity