Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sad News

We had very sad news this week. The people who own the land between our farm and the next farm are thinking about selling out. I have been amazed at the amount of farms that have been auctioned off since we arrived here 7 years ago.

This young man, Eddie, and his dad were dairy farmers. About 2 years ago, they had to sell off all their cows...the people producing the gallon jugs were making more on a gallon of milk than the farmers providing the milk! Eddie began working off the farm...he started taking contract work - all over the Eastern seaboard. He travels almost every week.. He leaves his wife, who also works full time off the farm, and his 2 young kids while he travels and tries to make enough money to keep things going.

Eddie's farm is about 3 miles up the road but he happens to own this land next to us also. He used to plant tobacco on one field and bale the rest for hay to feed the cows. No need for hay. Eddie's wife wants to move closer to her family. I'm sure she wants some support around her since Eddie is on the road so much.

It is a beautiful piece of land....backs up to a creek that runs at the bottom of the mountain ridge
along the length of this valley. The worst part...if they decide to sell they will auction it off. I don't know what happens at an auction where ya'll live but in this area it means only one thing...a mobile home park and unfortunately they usually end up pretty shabby....

My Mom, almost 80, is devastated...she has such a beautiful view from her screened porch and back windows. She is worried about noise, street lights, crime.....with good reason. We have seen it happen elsewhere in this little valley. She wants to move...I've explained that we can't pick up and move every time a neighbor decides to sell a farm....just really sad news.

We are praying....


  1. Oh, if only eddie knew about selling direct and making cheese. He could have turned that farm around. Course, you have to live in a state where it is all legal to sell too. Praying here for y'all.

  2. Milkmaid,
    It is not possible to sell raw milk here... at least not legally. We have leased cows and milked for people, we have friends who put raw milk in their fridge and find it mysteriously replaced with money in the morning, fact they are so paranoid here we are not even allowed to give it away legally. Someone just recently said we can get a license to sell it as pet food...that is a thought. Raw milk cheese is illegal also...Tennessee is an awful state to try to do any small farming and make a living at it. Hence, my husband's full time job off the farm! It is all big ag. If I sell you a bag of lettuce at the farmer's market, I am not allowed to close the bag with a twist tie so it doesn't get dirty in your car. It has then become a "processed food product" and must be inspected by the USDA. UNBELIEVABLE!!

    Thanks for the prayers...we are going to need them!


  3. How sad!!! What a ridiculous nation we live in. I am so biased though. Warped, I suppose.

  4. Is there anything sadder than a farm auction? My great grandparent's 80 acre farm was divided up into tiny plots ( for mobile homes?) and auctioned last weekend. Breaks my heart that we weren't in a position or location to buy it. It sits on a ridge overlooking a patchwork quilt of farmland.


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