Proposed Rail Line Threatens Old Lyme Farms

| 2/15/2016 8:59:41 AM

Tags: dairy farm, dairy cattlle, food policy, local food, CSAs, Kirsten Lie Nielsen, Connecticut,

Baylee Drown grew up on a 300-cow dairy farm in Michigan. After finishing her Masters in Sustainable Food Systems, Drown and her partner, Ryan Quinn, were looking for a place to sow their own organic vegetable farm. That opportunity came just over three years ago in the form of a property in Old Lyme, Connecticut, where Quinn grew up. They moved to the area not knowing that already their sustainable farm program was threatened by a Federal plan to expand high-speed rail along the Northeast Corridor, between Washington, D.C. and Boston.

upper pond farm

The historic towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, home to small farms and local ecosystems along the Connecticut coastline, were shocked to find themselves facing the real threat of a new rail project that would traverse the heart of their picturesque town.

Your first thought when considering Old Lyme, may be of a downtown area where historic buildings look out on trimmed lawns, but the area is home to dozens of working farms that supply locals and tourists with fresh, organic food.

Upper Pond Farm, near the mouth of the Connecticut River, is a six acre human-powered organic farm focused on sustainably providing organic vegetables to the surrounding communities. After three years of farming, Drown and Quinn, learned of the proposed rail project just two weeks ago.

At issue is the re-routing of high speed rail lines over a new bridge that would cross the Connecticut River and surrounding marshland, and continue through the center of Old Lyme. This re-routing is one of three proposals put forth by the North East Corridor Future to update the rail service in the Northeastern United States and increase current rail system’s capacity. A fourth proposal is to “do nothing.”

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