Shelby County near the Oldham County line, beside KY 1408.  February 6, 2005.  2:42 p.m. EST.


     The farmer who put up these signs to sell hogs and corn also has for sale the pickup truck in the background (for $400), and wants to sell or lease temporary chain-link fencing panels (a sample can be seen at upper right).  In addition, an old delivery van, just out of the frame to the left of this photo, is for sale with a price of $1,800.
     So, it seems, here is an enterprising farmer who's not shy about doing some on-site retailing.  But there may be more to the story than just that.  This farm is one of few remaining in an area, just about 20 miles northeast of Louisville, that is rapidly becoming suburban.  In fact, this particular farm is almost completely surrounded by new residential developments of houses in the $250,000-$500,000 range.

     There's something going on here, but I'm not quite sure what it is.  It appears that the land this farm sits on can be sold to a developer for much more than the farmer can earn through normal farm operations.  This is not prime farm land.
     My romantic side can see the farmer as a man (or woman) who refuses to sell out, someone who wants to stand fast against approaching urban growth, someone who will protect his family's farm at all costs.
     But I'm also a realist, and I know that farmers are businessmen just as much as land developers are.  It could be--and I'm only saying this is a possibility--that the farmer, through his several signs and old trucks for sale, is reminding the city people in the big new houses next-door that there is a working farm right around the corner.  And sometimes farming isn't pretty, and sometimes it doesn't smell so good.  If you don't like it, why don't you make a better offer?
     Maybe instead of the sign saying "Meat hogs for sale", it should read "Stinky hogs for sale". 

Other photos of this subject:
(click on the thumbnail)
Here's a view of a residential development adjacent to the farm represented in the photo, above.

Posted February 8, 2005.