Conway farmer acquires 438 acres of land in Plainfield 

  • This September 2013 photo shows Helen Pollard, a next-door neighbor to the dilapidated farm buildings on the Albert homestead on Huntington Road in Worthington. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

  • The former Albert farm buildings are shown in disrepair on Route 112 in Worthington in September 2013. A Conway farmer has bought the property. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

For the Gazette
Published: 9/28/2018 11:55:42 PM

PLAINFIELD — Once part of the largest potato farming operation in western Massachusetts, 438 acres of land at 116 East Main St. has been sold after several years of inactivity.

David Thibault, owner of Vachel Farm in Conway, purchased the property on Sept. 10 from the Robert E. Waryjasz Sr. Trust for $475,000.

The property was once part of the Albert potato farm, a large farming operation with multiple parcels of land in Worthington and Plainfield.

“I think that farm used to produce something like 10 percent of all of the potatoes in Massachusetts,” Plainfield Select Board Chairman Howard Bronstein said.

Robert E. Waryjasz purchased the Worthington property in 1995 where he and his wife Doreen, formerly Doreen Albert, operated a potato farm until 2006 when Waryjasz was killed in an automobile accident.

“There were people that wanted to buy the property right after Bobby was killed, but Doreen stayed there until 2011 or 2012,” Waryjasz trustee, Catherine Rude said.

Since then, the Waryjasz Trust has rented out parts of the property at times for farming purposes. Rude said that the land has been for sale for the last five years.

Plainfield Assistant Fire Chief Dave Alvord said that much of what was previously farmland has been slowly returning to forest.

According to Select Board Chairman Howard Bronstein, back taxes were owed on the property at the time of its sale to Thibault.

“It has been sitting there now for several years and it is very frustrating,” Bronstein said. “It is one of the greatest problems in small towns when properties remain vacant, so it will be nice to see that as a productive piece of land.”

Bronstein noted that there had been concern that Kinder Morgan, the parent company of Tennessee Gas Pipeline, would be interested in the property.

“There was a certain amount of fear and trepidation that the pipeline was going to buy the property and use it as a base for trucks and equipment,” Bronstein said.

The land, however, is under a state Agricultural Preservation Restriction, and as such can only be used for farming purposes.

Thibault could not be reached for comment.

According to Northeast Family Farms website, Vachel Farm currently maintains a cow-calf operation of over 60 purebred registered black angus cattle and also produces hay, corn, grapes, and maple syrup.

“It’s a beautiful piece of property, “Rude said. “I really hope that Mr. Thibault has wonderful results farming there.”

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