SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. — Southborough Health Agent Paul Pisinski said on Wednesday that neighbors' complaints about the odor emanating from Chestnut Hill Farm have been resolved for now.
Last month, Pisinski told the board he receives the same complaints every summer when the farm is fertilized. At the time, board members took no action, saying the odor was the result of normal farming practices and was not a public health hazard.
"It's awful to smell, but it's not harmful," Pisinski said.
Recently, he said, representatives from the Massachusetts Land Trust visited the farm. While they acknowledged that the farm was being run normally, they "were aghast" when they smelled it, Pisinski said.
That's because Doug Stephan, the owner of Eastleigh Farm in Framingham who tends the land at Chestnut Hill, uses an all-natural blend of chicken manure and other organic material that has a particularly strong smell, especially in hot weather.
During a recent tour of the farm with several state officials, Stephan mentioned neighbors' complaints but dismissed them, insisting that he would never switch to chemical fertilizers.
Instead, the land trust representatives recommended switching to cow or sheep manure, "which is less odorous," Pisinski said.