the last farmer in town
New England farmers today are pressured from many directions. Plant corn too early and you may have none. Plant it too late and you get little money for it, because everyone else’s corn has also hit the stands that week. In addition, farmers are squeezed by increasingly violent weather. A late flood can wipe out an entire crop one year. This spring, for example, so much rain fell that one nearby farm closed its farm stand after it had to harvest its lettuce by canoe.
Besides weather, farmers are also burdened by rising property values. Rising real estate values translate into higher taxes on the land and buildings. Although many areas have special tax arrangements for farms, even these can’t always help a family faced with a big tax bill and little cash.
Yet every farmer knows how to hit the cash jackpot. Just sell of a few acres. Some farmers, particularly older workers whose kids have left the land, decide to sell the whole place.