BEDFORD, N.Y.-- Six farms, in North Salem, Lewisboro and Bedford, have been added to the county's agricultural district.
The farms are SweetWater Farm in North Salem (13.30 acres), Gossett Brothers Nursery in Lewisboro (5.50 acres), Sun Raven Farm in Bedford, (4 acres), Canterwood Farm in North Salem (19.11 acres), 102 Titicus Road in North Salem (1.31 acres) and Mill Pond Farm in Bedford (24.79 acres).
Adding farms to the agricultural district allows the county to apply for state grants.
"This protects these parcels," county Legislator Peter Hatckham said. The parcels are all in Harckham's district.
Harckham said farming in Northern Westchester is becoming a big business, which is good for the county and the environment.
"Farms help lower obesity rates," Harckham said. "We need to make more of an effort to harvest locally and give our kids fresh produce."
Harckham said people in Westchester are beginning to realize how beneficial farms are, especially with tourism.
"In the fall people are always going up to farms picking apples, pumpkins and berries. It builds sales tax revenue," Harckham said.
The properties are used mainly for farming crops, dairy production or raising horses. Agricultural land in Westchester, including family farms and homesteads passed from generation to generation, has been converted to other land uses in the past several decades.
The Westchester County Board of Legislators created the Westchester County Agricultural District and the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board to help preserve and protect the county’s natural resources and assure a diverse and interconnected system of open space.