Things look better than ever at both FIG and the farmhouse fields, with numerous farming innovations and building improvements (especially the new farmstand!), and ever-improving soil qualities. It’s shaping up to be a good harvest year. Waxwing Farm has gotten way into flowers, chickens and ducks this year, and the ducks frolicking in the creek and chickens playing among the flowers are pure delight.
Meanwhile, we remain at a detente with the bridge/road expansion, announced in 2013. This project would destroy the fields by the farmhouse as well as the washhouse and outbuildings, and would bring the road within a couple feet of the barn and farmhouse porch. Thanks to an outpouring of community resistance and the indefatigable work of Bill Wilson, with the help of Chapel Hill lawyer John Runkle, the plans have been held off for the past five years.
Over the course of fall 2016 and spring 2017, the NCDOT widened the road and replaced the bridge on the adjacent property line, at the intersection of Clark’s Creek and Justus Road (the owner of this land is the one who vetoed the elaborate compromise we had reached with the DOT in 2014-15).
This work made the threat extremely real and close, and we were braced to restart the fight. Bill Wilson spent nearly a year individually contacting all the property owners above the farmhouse on Justus Road. To our great surprise, in May 2017 we received word from the DOT that neither requirements for road improvement nor bonding had been met. Apparently, this means the project is not on any current/active list of DOT projects, and does not have funding.
We remain concerned about traffic and safety problems, and do not see the status quo as sustainable long-term. However, DOT’s plan did not resolve these problems, AND it destroyed the heart of the farm. For now, we are greatly relieved to have a lull in these negotiations.