Monday, 2 April 2007

The Good Seed on the Land

There's still a lot of agriculture cheek-by-jowl with modern housing. The view from my window on the morning of Saturday, 31 March 2007. For another successive year, the field is being sown. What will it be? Oats again...?

This farm land is worth, literally, millions. If the local farmers sold up to developers, the interest they would receive on the capital would be far greater than the revenue gained from selling a few fields' worth of crop. Yet they hang on; watching the property prices, watching land prices, watching the local authority's zoning plans. Today, their land is worth €20 a metre, more than four times that with building permission. In ten years time, who knows what it'll be worth? So they hang on, farming their oats, cabbage, carrots, potatoes as they have done for generations.

I hope they continue doing so. I grew up and lived most of my life in the densely built-up suburbs of West London, a similar distance from the city centre. So I treasure the diversity of our street. Long may we live among farmers!

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