Sayings from long long ago:
“If you’re so smart why aren’t you rich?”
“Common sense is not so common.”
An article in yesterday’s NY Times caught my attention:
“How ‘Fairy Tale’ Farms Are Ruining Hudson Valley Agriculture”
“Farmers are losing properties to wealthy buyers from the city, while leasing land from the new owners can feel like a “modern-day feudal system.” By Elizabeth G. Dunn Photographs by Gabby Jones. June 9, 2022 Updated 1:59 p.m. ET”
I lived in the Hudson Valley for 27 years and watched the agricultural movement grow. By the time I retired I was buying almost all of the food I ate from the farm stands and the Sunday Farmer’s’ Market. The orchard fruits were spectacular and the growers truly wonderful, very hard working, people. From May until late into the Fall my produce bags were brimming and there was fresh fish, eggs, meats, and dairy products direct from local sources to add to the bounty. It wasn’t always the cheapest way to eat but freshness and taste (and nutrition) surpassed all else. Winters of grocery store produce became dreadful.
I left the area before Covid hit but I’d been there through the fear years after 9/11 when real estate was being gobbled up by urban dwellers from further south, scared they were not finished with panic situations. They were right. But their unequal buying power did real damage. According to this new article the well minted are now buying farmland which they want to remain picturesque. They want dual purpose barns where animals can be housed, then moved to accommodate wedding receptions. Having moved a fair amount of pig and chicken manure from a small barn on a Vermont homestead for a few years I can assure you manure and bridal attire are not compatible. We can chuckle together at the folly in this story but therein lies a deep truth we are all avoiding: having money does not make you smart. The food on your plate did not get there easily or with pristine hands. And the true price of things often has little to do with money at all.
Who will feed the growing world populations? We are just getting glimpses of the tragedies to come as nations dependent on harvests from Ukraine will not be there as backup. This is the tip of a very large iceberg. If local, state, and national governments do nothing to tip the balance of who can buy what land and use it for whatever purpose, we will see starvation spread.
There are all kinds of damage to the land which sustains us. Trendy ornamental plants replaced native species, the home and food for pollinators whose numbers have declined in alarming leaps. There is no end to our ignorance. We think of land which we buy as ours! to do with as we see fit, only our vision rarely contains what is, has been, and will be, required. Guns and wars are only two ways to hasten human die-off. What don’t you or I know about why the increasing numbers of deer are now taking over suburbia or showing up regularly in the middle of town and why their presence and the increasing presence of other “destructive” critters are so damaging to those who want to grow some of their own food? What are we thinking about when not wanting to mask or to travel like we used to? There are so many questions in so many areas we are not bothering to ask much less answer as long as things stay pretty. So some want fluffy white sheep grazing in green meadows without the unpleasantness of poop or the brutalness of birthing, or to be reminded of the harshness of life and death which is all around us? Plants, animals, people, air, water…..
Rich, poor, or in between we will live these fairy tales until reality bites. Then we will howl like banshees complaining of how unfair it all is.
2 thoughts on “Common Sense? New Revision Series.”
That was a great article and also very hard to accept. Your response to it hits it right on. These new dwellers are not only greedy and swift with their oodles of $$$$$$$ but also impose their rude manners and disrespect to our environment with trash. It’s almost as if an alien uncivilized society moving in. Very frustrating and annoying.
I remember driving along a road south of Poughkeepsie, a road I’d not taken before, and the trash along that route was absolutely appalling. Having lived in places like Vermont, a state who banned billboards years and years before, this road was an abomination and an indicator of a population that totally lacked awareness of the dependence on the land we humans share. Isn’t it interesting that while the wealthy buy up properties, raising the prices so that the character of the town or village or rural road is completely changed this wealth has no clue as to the effect it is having? People take their behaviors wherever they go which is one reason tourist season can be so challenging, particularly along roads where children and families live. Plunking a business down into such communities changes the character to the point of making living there dangerous. I harp a lot about our culture’s worship of money thinking it solves all problems. The truth is it is destroying whatever it touches.