Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rhode Island's vanishing farms

Mark Patinkin writes about one of the few farms left in Rhode Island:

It's early enough that Route 95 is still uncrowded. The drivers I pass seem mostly to be commuters, dressed for the office. It's that kind of state, but on this one morning, I'm looking for a different part of Rhode Island.

I continue south, leaving the city's sprawl behind. At last, I turn off Exit 2, and less than a mile into the countryside of Hopkinton, I see the sign for Brook Knoll Farm.

I had recently learned there are fewer dairy farms in Rhode Island than any other state. Thirty years ago, there were hundreds. Now, there are only 18. I decided to pick one of them.

I arrive a few minutes before 7 a.m., and inside the gray shingled barn, George Reynolds has already been working for an hour.

George Reynolds and his sister Dot run the farm, which pays for itself and nothing more. As George says, "The younger generation doesn't want to work these kind of hours."

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