…and now for something completely different…
Canoe bow waves are quickly lost
on the shoreside
But go on out of sight
on the lake side.
The constant swish-swish of skis
On a day long ski.
The constant swish-swish of wiper blades
On a day long drive.
My dog, trotting barefoot
Steps on a garden slug
Nothing of it.
Word spreads quickly
as I approach the pond.
All becomes quiet.
Hidden in the vines
a large warted cucumber
jumps out of reach.
of marshmallow snow
on a branch,
await the trigger of my hat
to melt their way down my back.
Deep in the tomato jungle
Fruits of yellow, purple and red
Tell of their readiness
To go to market.
Snowflakes hurry through my flashlight beam,
As my boots knead new snow with spring mud,
On my nightly Hajj to keep the boil alive,
For as long as possible until the dawn,
To match the power of the flowing sap,
With my meager evaporator and will.
The prize at the finish line are jars of syrup
This document was begun in 2000 with major revisions and expansions made in 2008.
Snakeroot Organic Farm
Farmers' Retirement Plan
Thinking about farm succession . . .
(A work in progress)
Reducing the market value of the farm land.
In order to transfer ownership of a farm to young farmers, the market price of the
farm land—which most often has little to do with it's value as a farm—needs to be
Their are existing land trusts which hope to be able to purchase development rights to
farms from willing farmers. What are development rights? When one owns a piece of
property, there are many rights which come with it, such as mineral and water rights,
privacy rights, etc. One of these is the right to develop the property, such as by
breaking it up into houselots. It is possible, however, to sell not the whole bundle of
rights that come with any property, but only some of those rights. A Conservation
Easement could, for example, allow a property to be used only for farming. The right to
subdivide or develop a property can be sold by the property owner to another
party—possibly a Land Trust—which would purchase this right for the purpose of
holding onto it to prevent the land from being developed. The market value of the land
is now decreased because it does not come with a full complement of rights. The farmer
is paid the difference, and has now been partially paid for the farm by simply agreeing
to keep it in farming, which is what was wanted anyway.
Finding a willing land trust or other entity to purchase our development rights and
negotiating such an agreement is a chore we still have ahead of us. One thought we have
had is to offer our customers the opportunity to purchase shares of our development