It is not uncommon for Vermont farmers to lease extra land they need, either for animals or crops. And in these economic times, farmers are getting more creative about their land deals.
This spring a herd of dairy cows appeared in this field in Essex which sits in the middle of several developments. It is the creative solution to a dairy dilemma.
"I moved the cows here in May, I have another farm in Highgate near the Canadian border and a few years ago I went the organic route, and with the new pasture rule we need so many acres to pasture our cows and I was short of land on the other farm so I started looking around where I could pasture my cows," said farmer Paul De La Bruere.
Turns out the perfect pasture was here in suburban Chittenden County. De La Bruere signed a three year lease.
"Well I think that is a big thing, here is a farm that has been sitting idle for many years and there are many farms that are struggling and going out of business and here is this farm that has been sitting idle and bringing it back to life is a big thing, and it is even bigger to do it in Chittenden County," said De La Bruere.
But there was a lot of work to be done, soil tests confirmed the farm could be certified organic, then came the fencing -- two miles strung -- and counting.
The barn had to be completely cleaned and equipment replaced and updated, but now the 75 milkers produce two tons of milk every day. It is shipped to Organic Valley processors out of state.
It does seem a bit odd to see cows and condos together but De La Bruere says he has had lots of positive feedback from neighbors who say they love seeing cows in their back yard.
"People will tell me that they much rather see the cows back there then buildings, and when I was building fence people would come out and say how happy they are to see the cows it has been a positive experience all around," De La Bruere said.
The cows will be trucked back to the farm in Highgate for the winter, but will return to Essex in the spring.
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:39:09 GMT
"Awesome -- I lost it when I finished I have to say, but it was great. It was great," said Amy Sullivan. The 2013 Boston Marathon runner was all smiles as she and 450 other runners crossed the finishMore >>
A race in southern Vermont Sunday gave runners who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon a second chance at the finish line.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:38 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:38:13 GMT
They come from all over the state and wait in line for hours. "It's become sort of a yearly event for us. We've been doing it for eight or nine years now -- we're having a blast," said Ed Sayers ofMore >>
Dozens of drivers gathered in Chelsea for a record setting road rally -- full of riddles that keep drivers and passengers on their toes.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:36 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:36:52 GMT
College graduation season is in full swing -- and Sunday in Burlington it was a big one. A crowd of nearly 10,000 attended the 211th commencement ceremony at the University of Vermont.In all, more thanMore >>
A crowd of nearly 10,000 attended the 211th commencement ceremony at the University of Vermont.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:28 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:28:28 GMT
Fire destroyed a barn in Clinton County, New York Sunday morning.It happened in the town of Mooers. Officials say the barn on Eddy Road was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just before 11:30More >>
Officials say the barn on Eddy Road was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just before 11:30 a.m.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:27 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:27:13 GMT
A Berlin, New Hampshire man is dead following a kayaking accident.It happened on a stretch of the Upper Ammonoosuc River in the town of Dummer. Officials say Keith Whitten, 58, was paddling with his wifeMore >>
A Berlin, New Hampshire man is dead following a kayaking accident.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:26 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:26:39 GMT
Woodchuck Hard Cider is taking legal action to protect its furry mascot.Last week the Middlebury company filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against South Burlington-based Woodchuck Coffee RoastersMore >>
Woodchuck Hard Cider is taking legal action to protect its furry mascot.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:17 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:17:27 GMT
Vermont State Police have charged 22-year-old Adam Page of Newport for stealing the Newport City Elementary School bus, which has now been declared totaled. A stolen dog was also recovered in the busMore >>
State Police say he is also being charged with the theft of two other vehicles and a woman's dog.More >>