Nickum Farm

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42 years ago my father bought a house on an acre of land from a man with a steer. That man included the steer in the purchase, which would have made my father a man with a steer, but alas he declined the free beef. My dad spent the next handful of weekends ripping out all the fencing that corralled the now disappeared steer and eventually turned the pasture into tightly mowed grass, just as the God of the Homeowner's Association intended.

Fast forward to today and you'll find my father living on this same acre of land, only now there are two houses, and one of them is inhabited by me and my family. In this latest property incarnation my father stands on his deck and as his grandchildren play happily on an expanse of lawn, but just beyond them something sinister is taking place. His eldest son (me) has begun replacing much of that beautiful lawn with a small, but ever expanding agricultural enterprise that threatens decades of dutiful mowing. Chickens now peck for bugs on bare earth where grass once grew. Two dozen new fruit trees break up what was once a sprawling expanse of green. A fenced berry garden has decimated 800-square-feet of precious lawn, and soon there will be a rototiller ripping up 200 feet of grass to make way for garden rows.

This blog will detail a son's ongoing act of betrayal...