21 Feb '12, 12pm

Farming the ‘burbs

Farming the ‘burbs

Prairie Crossing is a 669-acre subdivision in Illinois with small lots, 70 percent open space and 100 acres for food production. It’s a familiar story: A farming family in a small rural town can’t make ends meet. After generations of farming, they’re forced to sell their land and call in the auctioneer. In 2005, I produced a short film about a family like this in Meridian, Idaho. All but one of the five McKay siblings had chosen to work off the farm, and the son who’d stuck around grew sod to sell to developers who were systematically paving over Meridian to make way for residential subdivisions. It was a doomsday view of the future of rural land and farming in this country. Almost seven years later, the story, on the surface, hasn’t changed. According to the American Farmland Trust , over four million acres of agricultural land — almost the size of Massachusetts — were de...

Full article: http://grist.org/locavore/farming-the-burbs/

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