NORTH BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) – Issues of PFOA water contamination in multiple Capital Region communities have raised many questions for area residents over the last few months. Now some are questioning what impact the contamination has on the food people are growing, selling, and eating.

At The Touch of Peace Farm in North Bennington, all signs pointed to a profitable spring.

“We did it right. It was going to be a great year, a great spring,” said Jen Varga, co-owner of the farm.  “It was perfect. We had just done it all right”

Then Varga received test results in March showing that the water source she and her husband use to irrigate their three acre all-natural farm had PFOA levels far above acceptable levels.

Vermont’s PFOA advisory level is 20ppt. Tests at the Touch of Peace Farm showed PFOA levels at 86 ppt.

Jen Varga says they now can’t sell their crops, and didn’t grow their normal crop this spring because of the PFOA contamination. The farm’s fields and greenhouses are now empty.

“Through no fault of our own bam guess what you can’t work today. You can’t do this anymore.”

The farm usually sells garlic, asparagus, tomatoes, lettuce, and other produce to Bennington College and the local community. Their products even make it one state over into New Jersey.

They can’t sell their eggs either. Varga says the DEC told them there could be contamination in the chickens as well.

“We feed really good quality food so that our eggs are the best quality that we can make, and you know we’re not growing any crops,” said Varga. “I couldn’t afford to go out and buy plants from another farmer that was safe, so it just stopped.”

The Touch of Peace Farm sits a mile and a half from the source of the PFOA contamination, the old Chemfab site.

Varga says it will be hard for her farm to compete with other farms which happen to be located farther from the contamination.

“When people can go a few miles down the road to a couple of the other farm stands that are there that are not within this mile and a half that don’t have this stigma attached to them they’re going to do that and I can’t blame them,” said Varga. “I wouldn’t eat, I don’t eat anything here now.”

Varga says they’re now waiting for answers, and the results of soil testing that was done at the farm. Anthony Varga isn’t sure they can wait for too long.

“For us I don’t have the time to wait until they can fix it,” said Anthony Varga. “We’ve read things that says it’s a 90 year half life. So in 45 years it’s only going to be half that in our soil. That’s not acceptable.”

“The thing that you’ve been working on for the last six years is now just been yanked out from underneath you,” said Varga. “We had so many questions that nobody really knows the answers to because it’s such a new thing that they don’t have a lot of research on which we understand. but for us it’s our livelihood.”Clean land for Touch of Peace Farm GoFundMe page