welcome, and thank you for joining me on my farm and studio in southern lancaster county, pennsylvania

Saturday, October 31, 2009

waiting and unfair

All the prep work has been done for the "great greenhouse project of 2009". Now I wait. Wait for the greenhouse bits and pieces to arrive, and wait for the actual construction of said structure. So until these things happen, there won't be much new news.

hey, unfair!
This past week, a neighbor just down the road, not 1/4 mile from me, also put up a greenhouse. I mean to say he put it up in a week. I drove by last week and there was nothing there. This week he had a greenhouse full of drying tobacco. And according to my excavator, they didn't have to dig trenches and fill them with stones for storm water control. Apparently the township wanted them to, but relented when told it wasn't a permanent structure! Now wait just one doggone minute! Neither. Is. Mine. Two standards? Or is there something I'm missing? Could it be because he's a real farmer with many acres? Well, not if you're actually going to follow the zoning regulations. If anyone in their right mind would bother to actually look at the two situations, they would be able to see that my land is flat and the likelihood of storm water causing any damage is nil. The greenhouse is surrounded by seeded pasture and there is no possibility of erosion. They would also see that my neighbor's greenhouse sits at the edge of a plowed field which slopes down to the road and from there to the local creek. Huge potential for storm water run-off and erosion damage, not to mention increased potential for pollution of said creek. I am angered and frustrated, but at this point, it's all water under the bridge (or into the creek), so to speak. The trenches are dug and filled, the money is spent. I wish my neighbor had put his structure up before I went for zoning approval, because perhaps then I would have had an argument for them allowing me the same leeway.

I want to believe that this other greenhouse is truly temporary and will be taken down after the tobacco is dry and gone, but that's hardly likely. A more distinct possibility is that it will be there for years, growing tobacco seedlings in the spring and drying it in the fall and winter. If that's the case, I may have words with the zoning officer. Not that it will get my money back for work that shouldn't have to have been done, but so they know I know.

Seriously - priorities, folks. Food or tobacco? Which grower would you give a little leeway to?

Now, I need to go relax and calm down. Perhaps have a glass of wine and read a good novel. Something not about farming.


Jennifer and Steve said...

:( Not fair or fun. Sorry about this Kathleen.

Michelle said...

Oh, that truly does stink - almost as bad as stale cigarette smoke! And, dare I even mention the possibility that you and your neighbor got different treatment because of gender differences???

Jody M said...

I think I would call zoning and get the skinny.