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.
Tuesday, December 10 2013 11:41 AM EST2013-12-10 16:41:55 GMT
St. Albans police are on the hunt for an armed robber who targeted a convenience store. Police say at about 9:45 p.m. Monday, a man entered the South Main Grocery and displayed a weapon. He left the storeMore >>
St. Albans police are on the hunt for an armed robber who targeted a convenience store.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 12:57 PM EST2013-12-10 17:57:59 GMT
Police in Essex say they caught a repeat drunk driver who was trying to drive his car with a flat tire. Michael Heffernan, 52, of Bristol, was processed for his sixth DUI offense. Police say before theyMore >>
Police in Essex say they caught a repeat drunk driver who was trying to drive his car with a flat tire.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 9:40 AM EST2013-12-10 14:40:06 GMT
A former New Hampshire police chief will not face criminal charges. David Seastrand resigned in April after four women came forward and accused him of inappropriate actions ranging from sexual contactMore >>
A former New Hampshire police chief will not face criminal charges.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 1:13 PM EST2013-12-10 18:13:54 GMT
Burlington police on Tuesday released the name of a man killed Monday in a crash on the Beltline. Police say Gregory Burt, 56, of Colchester, was driving north when he crossed into the path of a southboundMore >>
Burlington police on Tuesday released the name of a man killed Monday in a crash on the Beltline.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 1:52 PM EST2013-12-10 18:52:58 GMT
Former Vt. Gov. Jim Douglas had a run-in with a deer on Interstate 89 Saturday. Vermont State Police say Douglas was headed north on the interstate in Colchester shortly before 6 p.m. when he hit the deer. TheMore >>
Former Vt. Gov. Jim Douglas had a run-in with a deer on Interstate 89 Saturday. He was not injured.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 9:42 AM EST2013-12-10 14:42:57 GMT
A non-profit group has donated close to $23,000 worth of protective vests to police dogs in Vermont and New Hampshire. The special vests provide two dozen police dogs protection from both bullet and stabMore >>
A nonprofit group has donated close to $23,000 worth of protective vests to police dogs in Vermont and New Hampshire.More >>