One of Columbia County’s most serene stretches of unspoiled open land can be found at the border of Claverack and Churchtown. County Route 12 bisects two vast, undeveloped fields—uncluttered by anything but one small barn, a handful of cows, a couple of Percheron horses, and clusters of grazing deer.
So when residents suddenly saw earthworks underway on the north side of CR12, there was naturally some alarm and upset.
However, it now appears that the plans for this valued landscape is not cause for alarm, and maybe something quite welcome. Minutes of the County Planning Board from last February reveal that the Rockefeller-backed Foundation for Agricultural Integrity is establishing a dairy farm there, to be limited to a hoop barn, greenhouse, and farm store/farmstand. “We’ll be able to walk in and get fresh milk and cheese,” said one enthusiastic neighbor on Taghkanic-Churchtown Road, who tipped me to the plan.
With Churchtown having lost its general store some years ago, it also may be nice for this sleepy corner of the County to have something of a gathering spot. It’s sort of a shame to see anything built on this greenspace, but at least this will maintain its pastoral character—rather than being littered with spec homes; and if they’ll serve their cream with a side of coffee, they’ll get my business...