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Farmland Preservation

Like many areas across the country, Cape Cod has lost thousands of acres of farmland over the past century—mostly to residential development. This has resulted in the loss of a cultural heritage that was often tied to distinct locales on Cape Cod (e.g., East Falmouth strawberries, Eastham turnips). Loss of meadows and pastures associated with farms has also reduced species diversity as the number of animals and plants that favored such open habitats declined dramatically. The decline of agriculture also decreased economic diversity across the peninsula. Finally, the absence of a local agriculture base is another example of a people who have lost a sense of connection to the Earth and its land and water, upon which we are all totally dependent for our sustenance.

APCC has been concerned with the loss of local agriculture for all of the reasons cited above. We developed this inventory of farms and farming activity on Cape Cod to draw attention to the status of agriculture on Cape Cod, to identify the impediments to farming, and to make recommendations for increasing the amount of farming on our peninsula.

Use the links below to view the report.

Agricultural Land Use on Cape Cod: Looking to the Future

Table of Contents, List of Figures and Tables

Executive Summary

Introduction

Agriculture’s Roots on Cape Cod

The APCC Farmland Inventory

APCC Agricultural Survey

Cape Cod’s Agriculture Community and Affiliations

Agricultural Land Protection Programs

Regulatory Agricultural Planning Tools

Benefits of Locally Grown Foods

Impediments to Farming and Recommendations for Improved Policies

References

Appendix 1: 11 x 17 Maps

Appendix 2: Agricultural Survey