5 days ago
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
A Pain in My Heart
The new picture in the title pane of this blog is land on the farm that I grew up on. Over the holidays, paperwork was signed that solidifies the sale of this land. I was successful in putting thoughts on this to the back of my mind over the holidays, in order to not shoot my mouth off around family, but this picture brings it all back.
By this time next year, that land is likely to be no longer in my family's name, tho my parents may get to keep using it for a few years. This causes me more personal conflict than anything in my life so far. I know that my parents need the money that the sale will bring them. I know we can do a lot with the quarter section that remains, thanks to the money from the sale, but...
I feel that overall and in the longterm, we are losing out desperately. The land that is being sold, is some of the best kept farmland in this part of the province. It's soil has not tasted petroleum based fertilizer or modern herbicide methods in over 30 years. It is my pride in this land as family land that keeps me a supporter of private land ownership (albeit within limits). I could go on and on about its merits, but I also cannot. It's too hard.
I could really only see two ways that I could keep this land in the family. The first would be to assume operation in its traditional family farm setup. This has never been a reasonable option to me, as I have said in previous posts. I do not believe it to be a sustainable endeavor, in the single family paradigm. As well, it is clear that it is nearly impossible to exist at a reasonable standard of living on a family farm nowadays, certainly as a single person. Our systems are set up to stifle local farming, and to support corporate agriculture. So yeah, this was never a reasonable option, unfortunately.
The second option was to find an alternate business plan, which would focus on sustainable operation of the land and also provide a reasonable amount of income to those members of the family now in their retirement years. While I have all sorts of ideas that I believe will eventually be successful, without stumbling into a million dollars I just did not have enough time to achieve this option.
All is not lost. Land remains in the possession of the immediate family and I can still pursue the business ideas with that land. But it still pains me to know that I will no longer be able to walk anywhere on that beautiful land, whenever I want to. To build what I want, or grow what I want. I would have been happy to share it in many ways, but to lose it completely....
Instead, it will likely become an expansion of the adjacent landfill operation. About the best I can do is get involved with the land that remains, becoming a member of the County, thereby allowing me to go to meetings and try to see that something positive happens to the land. It is ideally located for wildlife preservation status, for example, other than that damn landfill.
Anyway, there it is. Best I not dwell on this pain but use it to re-focus my efforts on what remains. The more success I can achieve with that, the more I will be able to influence the future of that which is no longer family land, and beyond.
Peace to us all.
Update: Since it is likely that I will change the photo in the title pane, I have now attached the photo to the post itself.