Earlier this summer, residents living near Chestnut Hill Farm complained to the Board of Health about a strong odor of manure coming from the farm. The board had little sympathy at the time, saying the odor was not a public health risk, but Public Health Director Paul Pisinski said recently the two sides have worked together to reach a compromise.
Pisinski told the Board of Health earlier this month that the odor issue dates back at least five or six years. “The odors get worse when the farmer spreads manure, and neighbors have complained,” he said. “It’s an awful odor, but it’s not harmful.”
While Pisinski said there was no action required from a public health standpoint, representatives from the town helped connect one of the neighbors with the Trustees of Reservations, the land trust that manages Chestnut Hill. A representative from the organization visited the farm and was “aghast” at the smell, Pisinski said.
The Trustees worked with the farmer who leases the land for agricultural purposes to remove his stockpile of chicken manure. The farmer has agreed to use sheep or cow manure in the future, which apparently is less stinky than chicken manure.
Ah, the nuances of manure.