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In the age of “agri-tainment,” Solebury to update farming ordinance


Farming ain’t what it used to be and the Solebury Board of Supervisors is determined to get with a modern program when it comes to setting new regulations.

After hearing from about a dozen agrarian constituents on Tuesday, the board came to see that farming is more than just harvesting corn these days.

The supervisors, realizing their farming ordinances were some 30 to 40 years old, had requested input from the farming community.

“Modern farming in Solebury today is not the traditional farming,” said Brent Alderfer, owner of the 125-acre Spring Creek Farm at 6262 Meetinghouse Road.

Farmers have to be flexible and versatile because people want hayrides, music and events, he said.

Gary Manoff, of the Solebury Farm Committee and owner of the 35-acre Manoff Market Gardens on Comfort Road, which has expanded into winemaking, said farms are expanding into “agri-tainment and agri-tourism.”

“Why don’t you (the board) get a grant and write an ordinance that’s friendly (to today’s farming),” suggested Tony D’orazio, of the Carversville Farm Foundation. “Take an open look at agriculture as it exists today. Consider a comprehensive plan.”

Supervisor Kevin Morrissey, liaison to the Solebury Farm Committee, agreed “it’s time we think a little bit out of the box.”

“We’re a bunch of non-farmers sitting up here,” admitted board Chair Mark Baum Baicker, but to compensate for that, he said the board will gather farming-related ordinances from other communities and start the process of updating Solebury’s farming ordinance.

“I’m glad you’re willing to partner with us,” Supervisor Hanna Howe told the attending farmers. “I’m grateful for all the information you’re sharing with us.”

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