Sunday, July 25, 2010

CSA’s for the Rest of Us

Community supported agriculture is all the rage these days. Local bloggers Sarah Says, HoCo Rising and JessieX have all written posts extolling the virtues of supporting local farmers through memberships in CSA’s. As for me, I’m just not a CSA kind of guy.

That is not to say that I don’t believe in supporting local agriculture. It’s just that my preferred way of doing so is through the local farm stand.

Farm stands are very much in the news today. The Harbin family has been fighting for over a year to keep their farm stand open and it now appears that their fate may soon be decided. According to this article by Larry Carson in The Sun, the Howard County Council is considering a bill “that would allow a popular farm stand to remain at Bethany and Old Frederick roads, even though it is no longer part of an existing farm.”

The Harbins farm is now an active adult community called Hebron Manor.

Though the stand has received strong support from the community some neighbors believe the stand has “become too broadly commercial.”

The front page of The Sun featured a story by Arthur Hirsch about David Smith who operates a farm stand on his farm in Baltimore County. He wants to move his stand out of the basement of his home into a new 6,000 square foot barn on the property. His neighbors are fighting him by arguing that a building that size is “a food-distribution warehouse in farm stand's clothing, and worry that the building would draw traffic that the winding, two-lane Yeoho Road cannot handle, jeopardizing their rural way of life.”

I know a thing or two about warehouses and 6,000 square feet is no warehouse I know of.

My own neighborhood farm stand, Baugher’s, has had its own share of battles over the years. The 100 year old farm successfully fought an eminent domain battle with the HoCo school board in 1999.
When I dropped by today to pick up some fresh peaches the dogs had sought a cool refuge under a pick up.
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