West Virginia farming community, the model for a utopia?

10-09-2019    18:54   |    Goedemorgen

If one family can't maintain a farm of 300 acres then maybe multiple families can... and so communal farming is born again in Berkeley, where 11 families living on common land are trialling a new way to preserve rural America

If one family can't maintain a farm of 300 acres then maybe multiple families can... and so communal farming is born again in Berkeley, where 11 families living on common land are trialling a new way to preserve rural America.

The first thing you see at the entrance gate to the rolling farmland of Broomgrass is a sign for honeybees and the barn. Down the gravel road is the mobile sheep pen, with four ewes – Pansy, Bertha, Myrtle and GiGi – surrounded by seven lambs born in April.

Then it's just grass and fields framed by forest as far as you can see. Residents' houses are hidden in the folds of the land. And there are two houses for eggs, with hundreds of chickens, five moveable shelters for meat chickens and turkeys, nine pigs over the hill and 24 cows grazing in pasture. Mostly, the landscape is open.

This is Broomgrass – a “new farm community prototype” aimed at restricting development – in Berkeley County, the rural eastern panhandle of West Virginia, two hours west of Washington. It's located in the viewshed of the 23,000-acre Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area and is adjacent to the 60-acre Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary across Back Creek.

Three hundred and twenty acres – half wooded and half fields, including an organic produce and animal farm and 16 one-acre home sites – make up the community. Eleven families, whose members range from age 8 to 67, own one-acre lots. Five lots are for sale.

What you get as a resident is more than a beautiful place to live in the country. “You are also a one-sixteenth owner of the 320-acre property, which was placed in a farmland protection programme preventing future development,” said Matthew Grove, co-founder of the community with his wife, Lisa Dall'Olio. “There'll never be more than 16 homes, and the land will be forever wild.”

Click here to read the complete article at Independent.

Photo Credit: The Washington Post/Bonnie Jo Mount


Comments (0)

No comments found!

Write new comment

More news