Thursday, July 2, 2009

Frustrated with the Process

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.

13 comments:

Elizabeth said...

We spent a wonderful day at the farm today and wondered about the concerts. We spotted the chalkboard sign inside and will indeed keep our fingers crossed...we hope to join you for a concert this season!

Anonymous said...

Our family is thinking off you and Krugers Farm a great deal lately as our soon-to-be 4 year old daughter keeps telling everyone that her birthday party will be there. Our family has enjoyed Farm Tunes many Thursday evenings over the past 3 years. At least we got to enjoy a fun day there on Fathers Day. You're in our thoughts and prayers.

Kathy

Christine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine said...

Don, Your farm is such a blessing to so many people. You are not alone. We have crossed our fingers, written letters, continued picking and held out hope for the "Process" to come to a favorable conclusion. Please know you have created a community and we thank you for that!

Anonymous said...

As with all processes we hope that the loud cries of the few don't outweigh the joyful sentiment of many. My family will keep the faith, and expect that we will be joining you again this summer for some wholesome family entertainment, education, and healthy living.
Don't the county commissioners have more pressing issues to address than quashing the few opportunities we have to enjoy family in a safe and nurturing environment?

Anonymous said...

i'm very sorry to hear this is on temp suspension. my family and i were looking forward to attending our first Independence celebration with you. We will keep you in our toughts. And, in the meantime, keep returning for the u-picks. On another note, I don't twitter but can your blog be subscribed to on facebook? All our best, The Gann Family

Anonymous said...

We’ve been attending the concerts for 6-years. My 6-year-old daughter can't wait for Farm Tunes to start. Sure hope I'll be able to tell her they are starting again soon. We cherish our memories of good music, good eats, picking berries while listening along, and hayrides. Certainly hope a couple of loud, squeaky-wheels don't ruin this fun, family-friendly, and safe event for the rest of us.
P.S. - We sent our letter of support in during the 'official' process. Let's hope they get of their behinds and make a favorable decision SOON.

Amber said...

I'm so sorry. Wish I could speed things along for you!

Alicia P. said...

Really feeling for you, Farmer Don, and truly hoping there will be a positive outcome to all of this, and concerts will again be greenlighted on the farm. Thursdays at Kruger's truly "make" our summer what it is -- our letter is one of the 180 positives, and I sincerely hope our collective voices can sway the powers that be, convincing them that this has become a valuable experience on so many levels, and for so many Portlanders. Fingers crossed.

Christine said...

Just heard the news!!!! See you at the concerts! Whooo Hooo

Anonymous said...

We were sad that the delay in decision by the county has also delayed the concert series, but... Congratulations!!! Those of us who sent letters to the county have received a copy of the verdict. How wonderful! We look forward to many lovely evenings communing with our neighbors on your lovely farm!

JenBolger said...

Farmer Don,

Don't give up the ship! Portland moms will rally for you! Sorry to hear about your jealous neighbor. If only he had some marketing skills...

http://portland.momslikeme.com/members/journalactions.aspx?g=152804&m=6320293

The Dreaming Bear said...

Keeping up with you here from Iowa....so glad to hear that the concerts will continue! It sounds so delightful there. When we make it up that way,(thinking of a family vacation next year) we will be there! Congrats!