Monday, December 17, 2007

Emily's Farm

This weekend Emily had a holiday party at her house, which is on her in-laws' farm just south of town. It's such a special place. The family has been on the farm some ridiculously long period of time, from back when settlers were unironically named "Innocent" and "Charity." (Well, maybe it was just a pre-irony time altogether.)

Anyway, Em's husband, John, took me on an awesome extended tour of the farm, and I got to take some photos.

This is two huge live oaks that decided to live in peace and harmony by growing away from each other. How do trees know to do that? It amazes me.

When I see live oaks draped with Spanish moss like this, it makes me think of how North Florida must have looked in prehistoric times.

The sun was going down and the light was really beautiful on the cabbage palms as we looked out at the prairie.

Sadly, a lot of farms like this are quickly disappearing from the Florida landscape. Family agriculture is always pretty marginal, and developers pay a lot of money to get their hands on this pristine land. People move to places like this for the beautiful green spaces and "nature," but buy houses that preclude the existence of viable habitat.

Agriculture is important to the state because the green space it provides allows rainwater to soak back into the aquifer (from where we get almost all our drinking water), unlike paved areas. Green space also produces oxygen and helps cleanse our air, raises the value of our homes, and provides important wildlife habitat.

Besides a bunch of recalcitrant cattle, on our drive we saw alligators, several flocks of sandhill cranes flying in to roost for the night, and a large red-tailed hawk on the hunt. I'm sure there are also plenty of foxes, deer, and bald eagles around there--and even bobcats, panthers, bears, and whooping cranes.


Digital Flower Pictures said...

It is nice to see there are still some farms around. We have lost almost every one here in Connecticut.

I like a lot of your photos, good work.

Jen said...

Great post - I really missed out by showing up to the party late. The view of the prairie looks amazing!

sarah said...

I hope there are still *some* farms left in Connecticut! It's important that we're all aware of where our food comes from, and I think that's the start to being an advocate for saving our farms.