Flower trailer gets one more year in Hadley


  • Many Graces Farm at 15 Lawrence Plain Road in Hadley, owned by Rebecca Maillet. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 17, 2020

HADLEY — Trailers used to store and process flowers grown at a Route 47 farm will be allowed to stay for another year, despite being in violation of town zoning bylaws.

The Planning Board on Tuesday voted 5-0 to allow Rebecca Maillet, owner of Many Graces Farm at 15 Lawrence Plain Road, to continue to keep storage containers, including refrigerated space, on the 5.5-acre site through Nov. 3, 2021.

Board Chairman James Maksimoski said floriculture is an allowed agricultural use, but the trailers should only remain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Long term they have got to go,” Maksimoski said.

Maillet told the board that the trailers have been an integral part of the business, which sets up at weekly farmers markets, distributes to Whole Foods Market and provides flowers for weddings. The farm uses little equipment and is mostly a hand-operated business, Maillet said, noting that 36,520 flowers were planted in 2020, all by hand.

In addition, a flower processing shed constructed and attached to one of the trailers, to accommodate social distancing for workers during the pandemic, will need to get various permits through the building commissioner’s office.

Meantime, the board also decided that it will not review a proposed 36-foot tall bell tower planned for a traffic circle in the middle of the driveway at the front of Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 120 Russell St. 

Ray Casella, of Casella Design Associates of Agawam, who is working on behalf of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, said the three-legged open structure with a cross at the top is reminiscent of ones in Poland. The inspiration for the tower comes from the church’s priest, the Rev. Piotr Pawlus, and is being designed by The Verdin Co. of Cincinnati, Casella said.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.