Carrie’s Painting of the Week, 4/28/10

Maryland Hill Farm

Maryland Hill Farm

By Carrie Jacobson

When we bought our house in Carroll County, Md., one of the innumerable papers we had to sign said that we understood that we were moving into a farming region, and that there would be farm smells, farm noises and farm equipment in the area.

That was 13 or 14 years ago, and enough has changed here that I wonder if buyers still have to sign that document.

The farms are not all gone, but roads that used to wind past farm after farm after farm now wind through a few farms and a bunch of developments.

Certainly, people need places to live. But does everyone need a new house? Does everyone need to live outside of the city where they work? In Baltimore, I saw beautiful but abandoned buildings everywhere. With a little money and a fair amount of work (or the opposite) these buildings could be reclaimed. Whole neighborhoods could be reclaimed. And while this would be a form of gentrification, there are enough empty buildings there to mean that the renewal need not ride in on the shoulders of displacement.

Here in the foothills of the Appalachians, here in these rolling hills, farmers still till the earth. But for how long?

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