Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Is this a farm?
On the way to visit a Christmas tree grower I passed a farm whose owners bring attention to the fact that their property is indeed a farm. One of the challenges that farmers here in the county face is a changing demographic of their neighbors. Many of the county's new residents are folks from urban backgrounds who have moved to Watauga County (and other mountain counties) for the peace and quiet of a mountain vacation home. When they purchase properties next to farms, they are sometimes unaware and quite surprised to find out what a working farm is all about. Many farmers in the county participate in the county's voluntary Farmland Preservation program which provides them protection from "nuisance lawsuits" that some new neighbors indeed have attempted to litigate because...tractors are loud in the morning, chicken litter fertilizer stinks, and cows do sometimes get through a fence. Hopefully any potential vacation home buyers and/or their Realtors can interpret this farmer's subtle message.