Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

The Changing Horizon

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

J. and I were in the Jeep hurtling north up I-35 toward the farm yesterday, chatting and trying to stay warm on one of those days where a chill sets in and just won't go away.  As we turned down the highway toward Maysville, I let out an audible gasp that made J. let off the gas for a moment.

The rolling Missouri horizon seemed foreign.  I had to blink to make sure I wasn't seeing things.  My first fleeting thought is that we were in War of the Worlds and huge aliens marching their way north.  Coming up a hill, white tentacles flailed as if controlled by a gargantuan octopus sitting just out of sight.  I blinked again...this time a little harder.  Gigantic white intruders still dotted the skyline as far as I could see before they faded off into the grey winter sky.

We had, of course, been seeing signs like the one below for over a year.  At one point, every farmhouse and field sported something similar or a simple sign with a windmill with a red cross through it.  The highway boasted signs that read "No wind farm traffic".  It seems that none of that solidarity was successful in preventing

This part of the country is American as it gets.  People here will go out of their way to help you, as evidenced by our neighbor, the farmer up the road, who graciously pulled our truck out of the mud with his tractor when we silly city-slickers buried it to the axle in mud on our land.  But if you're not from what some call "flyover country", you might mistake friendliness for gullibility and that couldn't be further from the truth.  After all, we're not called the Show-Me State for nothing.

I'll admit to not being in the know about all the hubbub on this particular issue so I had to do some digging.  The local liberal Kansas City rag, the Pitch, even ran a story on it.  The gist of it is that an out-of-state company from Florida called NextEra Energy came in and wanted to lease land from many of the landowners in the area.  That company is receiving heavy subsidies from the federal government and, in addition to being out-of-towners, are perceived to have been greasing the wheels with some local elected officials.  From what I've read, there are certainly some conflicts of interest going on.  Couple the fact that rich landowners seem to be benefitting the most and you've got all the makings of a full-fledged backlash from the locals.

A group of concerned citizens banded together to voice their concerns about the effects heavy wind farm traffic would have on roadways, health concerns, effects on livestock, abuse of land by out-of-state interests, and the scar that the turbines would leave on the horizon.  DeKalb County, where our farm sits, is a township and isn't zoned so there was no permit process to slow things down.  After a lawsuit to stop the wind farm ended unsuccessfully last year, NextEra wasted no time in getting started putting up their 96 turbines. We were last there in late September and didn't see a thing, so I guess it didn't take long.  Most of the protest signs are gone now and they've been replaced by something much larger.

More on this tomorrow....


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