This blog is the fifth in a series of profiles written by 350VT intern Julie Elfin. Julie got the chance to speak with Jane Palmer of Monkton, a fierce defender of her local farmland. This is Jane’s story.
My family’s farm is just beautiful. The land is alive all the time. In the mornings, with the fog over the marsh…it draws people in. When it came up for sale 20 years ago, we knew it was ours. We couldn’t let it go to someone else who would chop it up and turn it into cookie-cutter houses. We’ve always been very protective of the land, especially the wetland on our property, because it’s such a beautiful piece of the ecosystem.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the farm is the Vergennes clay soil. Digging up our 2 acre improved vegetable garden plot and putting a pipeline through it, like Vermont Gas planned, would have completely destroyed the soil. And that was only the beginning. Everything we found out pointed to the reality that this wasn’t a good idea. Our neighbor brought over a map of the route that showed the pipeline going right through the middle of the orchard, the septic system, our pond, our water line and a grove of willows between our house and the road. Someone had just drawn a line through our property without knowing anything.