Family Owned Farms Continue to Disappear as they Struggle to Remain Open
Small family farms have been slowly disappearing for decades and this will likely be the case with the Minor’s Farm in Bristol, Connecticut. The farm was founded in 1864; the 30-acre parcel on Chippens Hill is currently operated by Paul C. Minor, his wife Vicki, and his father Paul J. Minor. Mark Minor, Paul C.’s brother, separately harvests the hay. Paul C. Minor states,
It’s kind of the end of an era. I don’t know if this would necessarily be our last year, but if not, I don’t see it happening much longer. With 48 years with fall stuff, I just know I won’t be physically able to continue to do this and it’s not easy to run a farm or stay in business in Connecticut.
According to Paul C. Minor, who graduated from Virginia Tech in 1970, the younger generations of the Minor family went to college and have moved out-of-state as have many others, those of different ages, because the cost of living is much lower and the job market is more plentiful. The Minor’s farm was once a full-fledged farm in earlier decades, but the farm has basically downsized to just its store being open, holding fall activities for children and scheduling his visits with his pig to libraries across the country to promote reading. The visiting kids are able to ride the Minors’ train and purchase items such as pumpkins and candy in the farm store. The children that go to the farm to visit are also able to witness the old barns, the large open fields, and the overall ambience of old New England past.
Unfortunately, this is a tale all too familiar here in California. As costs continue to increase, farms like the Minor’s farm in Connecticut will continue to disappear and be converted into overpriced housing for people that might struggle to pay for it. California has not been able to avoid the same fate in regards to family owned farms struggling and disappearing one by one. It certainly is sad that the ways of past will one day be forgotten by the future generations of Californians.