Tonight, in the past, our concert series would have begun. Three hundred families would gather on a beautiful summer night to listen to Lisa and Her Kin, The New Iberians, Jackstraw or some other local band. The hayride would be going out to the berry fields. Phil would have the BBQ going. The corn roaster would be turning out its ears. And, tonight the big sprinkler would be going because it's so hot. And, lest we forget - Farmer Don (me) - would give his talk on what's in season. But tonight the farm will be dark.
Last August after a six-year run of giving families one of the finest farm experiences imaginable, the county contacted us and let us know that we needed to update our farm stand permit to include the concerts and other similar activities. We agreed to sign a "Voluntary" Compliance Agreement to cease these sorts of events until our permit was updated. We then began the arduous process which went on all winter. Multiple thousands of dollars have been spent putting together a 70-page document that finally was deemed complete in mid-May. Shortly thereafter, the public comment period began. The county received more than 180 positive comment letters and only 12 negative letters. The negatives were what you would expect -- like my mother always said "not everyone is going to like you."
Now the county sits with the decision. What are they waiting for?? From our conversations with our land use planner, we know the decision has been made. We'd like to know what it is so we can proceed (or not) with our summer plans. We want to continue this great tradition and need to know the outcome. Tonight the farm will be empty. Maybe I'll light a candle in silent memorial.