In the wake of a controversy that has spawned an upcoming task force, one local business owner is stepping forward with the hopes of creating a garden in the gateway to Westford.
Nancy Morton of Tyngsboro is the driving force behind CNS Mustard Seed: a new organic garden center on Boston Road at the former location of Eric’s and Drew Gardens.
Morton opened her doors on May 30 in the hopes of creating not just another plant store, but a transformative natural experience arising from appreciation of life’s small miracles like the world’s smallest seed, the mustard seed.
“We just wanted to do something good for people,” said Morton. “Our goal is to plant a seed to get people to connect.”
With time, Morton hopes to renovate the interior of former Eric’s facility with an eventual organic cafe and renovate the area outside the building with apple trees, greenhouses and other agricultural improvements as well as provide a place for disabled children to get in touch with nature.
However, the fate of her lease may be impacted by the Board of Selectmen.
Several days before her store’s opening, the Selectmen issued a cease and desist order to Thomas Goddard, Morton’s landlord.
That letter came in response to a large pile of debris that suddenly appeared on the property, completely unrelated to the opening of the business, that led to speculation over the property itself.
Shortly after the Selectmen approved the letter, they confirmed the creation of a task force to determine whether the town may decide to purchase the property, also requesting that Morton provide a copy of the lease she has with Goddard.
Morton initially said she would provide a lease the next day but later decided to wait until the Selectmen’s June 3 meeting to present the lease to the public, fearing any information she presents may be misconstrued and that the entire concept of a task force for the property may be premature.
“It’s a lot of unneeded action,” she said. “People need to sit down and talk, that’s what we’re about here.”
For customers at the opening weekend sale such as Westford resident Erika Caulfield, the political tempest over the property as well as possible concerns about additional traffic on the road from the business didn’t register.
“I knew they were having a great sale, but I’d come back because I knew (Morton) through a friend of a friend and I wanted to help,” said Caulfield. “There’s always been a business here, so I don’t think traffic will get any worse due to this store being here.”
More information on CNS Mustard Seed is available on its Facebook page.