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Micro-farming initiative moves forward

"We are in the middle of litigation with them, so until the litigation is done we are not going to proceed," said Landry on Tuesday, Feb. 22., about the proposed changes. "I am probably going to get out to them a letter in a day or so that we are going to wait till the litigation is finished till we make any decision."

John Helms expressed his hope to obtain 1,500 signatures by the end of June to show the town officials that residents support the micro-farming initiative. Helm also said he doesn't want to just merely garner a bunch of signatures in passing but hopes to educate residents on their goals.

Melissa MacKinnon, a Niskayuna resident, said she had been planning to get chickens with her younger daughter, but now those plans aren't going to be accomplished.

"I said 'Look, look, they have chickens. You must be able to have chickens in Niskayuna,'" said MacKinnon during the meeting. "We have been talking about this since last summer and then I started reading in the paper [that chickens aren't allowed] and I thought 'Oh, you must me kidding me.'"

Another supporter of the movement, who wasn't able to attend the meeting, was Andrea Worthington, a biology professor at Siena College and Niskayuna resident. After reading an article in The Spotlight she said she contacted the Helms to reach out and offer support.

"Part of my support for them is I had chickens in my backyard for a year and half," said Worthington. "I had been given these chickens from a Siena student that asked me to take care of them."

While she no longer has the chickens, she said she kept them in her basement and would bring them outside in a moveable pen to eat insects and grub around her garden.

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