This one weird trick can help you stave off unwanted development in your city, county, bioregion: SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMS. This farmer whose words I’m sharing here may be based in Florida but their insight & plea apply universally.
(Photos for the algo & for your enjoyment: me in writer mode; and my off-grid hippie-60s-inspired urban garage GLAMP-partment). (See the pix here on this post on my FB page.)
Happy New Year all!!
Part 1: Note added by me (jenny nazak)
This morning on my feed: A post regarding the relationship between supporting our local farms, and staving off the types of development that we all say we don’t want. And that we expend a lot of time, energy trying to fight.
If you need help finding your local farms, I strongly recommend joining this group Florida Farm Finder – Small FL Farms are Kind of A Big Dill
Granted, supporting local farms instead of Discount Low Mega-mart takes a bit of extra effort. And not everyone has the financial luxury of doing this. But for those of us who have even a bit of leeway to exercise choice, even if it’s not for everything all the time … I think it’s no exaggeration to say that our lives depend on shifting in this direction. Depend in MANY ways.
(Meta note: The post was shared by a fellow Floridian eco/permaculture citizen, and I think the farm is the same one as one I know by this name in Florida. Feel free to chime in if you know more details. There is a Spring Hill here in FL but may not be the same one mentioned here. Regardless: No worries, the issues highlighted herein are nationwide and maybe to an extent even worldwide.)
Part 2: The original post (which I copy-pasted from a friend who copy-pasted it from someone else etc.):
From Spring Hill Farm:
That is the current worth of my farm to a developer.
We are in this pocket of what they call a “land shortage” or a “housing shortage” with a “high demand for commercial space.” The open space that this farm sits on is in high demand to builders and developers. Sometimes I feel they visit me more than my neighbors do to shop for their groceries.
The large tracts of land that still remain around here are mostly privately owned and many that fill that category are “working farms.” Those working farms around here are mostly orchard, specialty crops, small livestock, some cattle and very few dairy. Many of which are open to the public. Some seasonally. Some year ’round. But in reality there are not nearly as many as there once were and the number that we claim each year will dwindle by one or two when we have this discussion again next year. And I have this discussion every year in some way or another.
I personally have been approached by three different developers in just the last six months. It is not uncommon. I am sure my friends that do the same thing I do get the same thing. My farm is no different than the next when it is looked at by the number of lots one can get in. They are waiting to catch us in a weak moment; a bad season, a stressful month, a day of struggle. We own 52.25 acres here. Most cultivated. Some dormant and awaiting the reclamation process when the funds allow for it to get completed.
I have said it before and I will say it again…this way of life can be really hard. It can test you mentally, physically and emotionally. But it is the only life I know and no matter how hard it can get, I truly love being the caretaker of this 313 year old working landscape. I am only the fourth family to ever call it home and to call it my farm since 1710. I feel lucky to be on it! I love to grow and produce crops from it that help nourish and feed not only my family but the community members that support it in their daily routines. If you are lucky this year, you can make an honest living. But next year, Mother Nature may swoop in and kick you down just like she did this year. And at the end of that year, no matter how good or bad, you will always lace up your work boots and look forward to the growing season that lies in the year ahead.
As we close out the 92nd year of my family farming here and look forward to the incoming New Year, I sit back and wonder how much further this little piece of ground will make it. It has withstood a lot through time. And pondering the future of it is always a common thought as I close out my year and eagerly await the new one.
As you make resolutions for the New Year, please add LOCAL FARMS to your list.
- Cook at home more in 2024 and let the Farm Stands inspire your next meal.
- Consider a Farm Share
- Choose the Local Milk
- Shop the Farmers Market near your work
- VISIT THE FARMS, CHOOSE LOCAL, EAT LOCAL, SHOP LOCAL
There are less than a half dozen here in Littleton alone. Maybe less in the Town you are from if you are reading this beyond the community of Littleton.
Once land is gone, it is gone forever. The future of your working landscapes, farms and pastures relies on the community just as much as the owner and caretaker.
Farms will stand strong against development pressure as long as their neighbors support them.
You have the distinct opportunity to vote with your food dollars. Put those votes toward LOCAL FARMS, YOUR NEIGHBOR THAT CULTIVATES FOOD & THE FARMER THAT KEEPS LAND TILLED RATHER THAN BUILT ON.
Let’s work together <red heart emoji>