The World’s Most Haunted Farms

Source: ~ By

hauntedfarms_heroThere’s no denying it: farms can be creepy.

Desolate fields, creaking barns, terrifying scarecrows — as anyone who has ever seen “Children of the Corn” can attest, even the most wholesome crops can take on a sinister pallor. But is it all in our heads? The stories behind these haunted farms make us wonder.

The Old Arnold Estate (Harrisville, Rhode Island)

“Leave the lights on at night,” was the advice the Perron family got when they moved into the old farmhouse in the winter of 1970. It didn’t take the family long to understand why. Eight generations of families have lived and died in the house and few seemed to have moved on, leaving the place packed with spirits, as recounted in the 2013 movie “The Conjuring,” which is based on tales from the farm.

According to town records, three people committed suicide at the house: two hung themselves and one chose poison. There were also two people drowned and four frozen to death; to round out the horror, an 11-year-old girl was raped and murdered by a farmhand. Ever since, bone-chilling incidents have plagued the house, described by Andrea Perron in her account of the haunting, House of Darkness House of Light.

The farm’s most dreadful ghost is Bathsheba Sherman, a rumored Satanist who hung herself from a tree behind the barn in the early 19th century. Andrea’s mother told a reporter from the Providence Journal in 1977 that she once woke up to find the head of an old woman shouting, “Get out! Get out! I’ll drive you out with death and gloom.” Attacks from Bathsheba got more intense. One of the Perron girls once found her leg bleeding from a large puncture and was allegedly possessed by the spirit. Her parents asked psychic investigators for help; they ended up moving to Georgia in 1980.

The family asked a priest to perform an exorcism more than once. It helped, but only for a short while.

The Dandy House (Hinsdale, New York)

On the day that James Link and his family moved into this picturesque farmhouse, a neighbor drove up to them, yelling, “What are you doing here? You can’t move in here!” That was Link’s first inkling of the terrifying events that transpired at the farm from 1970-1974, when the Dandy family was in residence.

The Dandys had witnessed a series of inexplicable events, from hearing strange chants to seeing chimney bricks removed by invisible hands to feeling burns on their bodies. They also spotted a male spirit in a plaid shirt and blue jeans holding a rifle at the end of the bed.

The family asked a priest to perform an exorcism more than once. It helped, but only for a short while. After the Dandys moved to the West Coast, the house passed through the hands of several owners, all of whom experienced these paranormal activities. Today, the Dandy House is still a destination for ghost seekers.

Elvey Farm (Kent, U.K.)

Located in the village of Pluckley, which was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1998 as the most haunted village in England, Elvey Farm was built in 1406 and has been home to spirits ever since. Some of the spooky sounds visitors report hearing — such as mysterious footsteps and creaking floorboards — could be the work highwayman Robert Du Bois, who preyed on local villagers centuries ago until he was stabbed for his crimes. But the farm’s signature spooky happening, a voice saying “I will do it,” is none other than the ghost of Edward Brett.

Brett, who owned the farm in 1900, one day whispered those four words, walked to the old dairy barn and shot himself. His ghost apparently never left the estate. Now a boutique guesthouse, the current owners and their guests still report hearing his voice.

Monte Cristo Homestead (New South Wales, Australia)

The legend of Australia’s most haunted place began when Christopher Crawley and his wife Elizabeth built the old homestead in 1876. The family seemed to be doing well on their farm until a maid who was holding their little girl dropped the child down a flight of stairs, killing her. The maid claimed an unseen force pushed the girl out of her hands. After the death of her husband, Elizabeth left the house only twice until her death in 1933; it’s said that after that, she never left at all.

Young children suddenly feel agitated when they near the stairs, and some people feel the presence of Elizabeth’s ghost and have heard her ordering them to get out of the dining room. Visitors also report the sound of footsteps on wooden floor, despite the fact that the entire house is now carpeted.

The Ryans, current owners of the property, describe living in the house as living with another family, just one that they can’t see. At least, most of the time.

The Myrtles Plantation (St.Francisville, Lousiana)

Built in late 18th century, the rumor is that 10 people were murdered on this 600-acre land.

While only one murder is confirmed, there are plenty of spirit sightings in the house, with more than one way to let humans know they’re there. A grand piano on the first floor sometimes plays by itself, and the ghost of a curly-haired young girl wearing an ankle-length dress has been sighted floating around the house. Some people have seen children playing together.

The house was used as a location for the 1985 TV movie “The Long Hot Summer.” During filming, the crew rearranged the furniture in the game room and the dining room and left. When they came back, everything was moved back to its original place. Creepy.

The torments quickly escalated from scary sounds to physical abuse.

John Bell Farm (Adams, Tennessee)

When John Bell and his family began hearing knocking sounds on the doors and the walls and the sounds of chains being dragged around the house, they blamed their neighbor Kate Batts, who they suspected of being a witch. The torments quickly escalated from scary sounds to physical abuse: The youngest daughter, Betsy, was pinched, scratched and beaten, while John sometimes felt a stick being stuck in his throat. When John died in December 1820, neighbors believed that Batts was responsible.

Two hundred years later, visitors to the farm claim that they heard sounds of people talking when no one’s around, and mist and orbs of light sometimes mysteriously appear in pictures taken there.

Loretta Lynn’s Plantation House

The country singer Loretta Lynn bought this plantation in 1966, the same year her song “Dear Uncle Sam” ruled the radio. The mansion was built by businessman James Anderson in 1876, despite the rumor that 19 soldiers were murdered and buried there in 1863. That hasn’t been confirmed, but it seems to fit with the Lynn family’s experience.

One night, Loretta’s son Jack encountered the spirit of a Civil War soldier trying to take off his boots; another son, Ernest, saw two soldiers standing at the foot of his bed. Her twin daughters also spotted a woman dressing in white, as did Loretta herself, who came upon her sobbing on the balcony. The mysterious woman vanished when Loretta walked toward her. It’s rumored Loretta held séances in the house to try to communicate with the spirits.

The family moved out from the mansion in 1984 after Jack drowned. The singer later opened the estate to visitors but required that nothing be touched or moved in the house. The spirit of the first owner seems to agree with her: Once, a tour guide accidentally touched an object and was shoved down the stairs by an invisible force.

If you are in the market to buy or sell agriculture property in Northern California, Realtors associated with Century 21 M&M Agriculture is look forward to walking you through the process. Rest assured that Century 21 M&M Agriculture Realtors will do their best to make sure that both sides are protected during the transaction and we will our Realtors will not sell you a haunted farm.


California walnut crop exceptional, high quality


walnutCalifornia walnuts account for 99 percent of the commercial U.S. supply and 78 percent of world supply.

The USDA NASS California Field Office recently released annual crop estimate for walnuts predicts this year’s crop will 485,000 tons.  This is slightly lower than last year’s record breaking crop of 503,000 short tons, yet the second largest crop on record if realized.

According to California Walnut Commission Chairperson Charles Crain, “We are delighted not only with the crop size but also with the high quality kernels we are expecting thanks to the mild spring and summer weather.  This excellent crop will help us continue to meet the growing consumer demand for nutritious walnuts both domestically and around the world.”

California walnuts account for 99 percent of the commercial U.S. supply and 78 percent of world supply.  In the past year, approximately 40 percent of available product was shipped domestically and 60 percent was shipped to export markets, making California walnuts the fifth largest California export.  Since 2002, domestic shipments have increased 24 percent.

“People have made eating walnuts a part of their daily routine because they are convenient, taste good and offer proven health benefits,” explained Dennis A. Balint, executive director of the California Walnut Board.

If you are in the market to buy or sell agriculture property in Northern California, Realtors associated with Century 21 M&M Agriculture is look forward to walking you through the process. Rest assured that Century 21 M&M Agriculture Realtors will do their best to make sure that both sides are protected during the transaction.

Lessons from California’s urban farms


Image courtesy of the LA Times

Image courtesy of the LA Times

Sacramento, Calif., (October 16, 2014) – Urban farms are popping up around the state, and a UC ANR team recently took a close-up look at urban agriculture in California. In particular, we wanted to learn about farms in cities and on the edges of cities that are selling or distributing their products. We visited urban farms and interviewed farmers to find out about their operations, their challenges, and especially, what UC ANR could offer that would be most helpful. We used what we learned to create the UC ANR Urban Agriculture website, a portal where California’s urban farmers can find information they need on a wide array of topics. Here are a few of the insights we gained on our visits.

Among the 27 farms we visited, the median size was one acre (in other words, half of the farms were larger than an acre, and half were smaller). And the range in size was wide. The smallest was 3,000 square feet, while the largest was 1,000 acres! Excluding the 1,000-acre farm, the average size was 2.8 acres. Compared to the average size of a farm in California, which is 328 acres, according to the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture, urban farms are very small.

Two farms were multi-generation family farms started in the 1950s by the current farmers’ parents or grandparents and these farmers are highly experienced. Although their farms now operate in urban environments, they didn’t start out as urban farms. “The city came to us,” as one farmer put it. The other farmers we interviewed have been learning farming from the ground up.

Among the urban farms we visited, most are part of a non-profit organization or government agency with a larger mission. Urban farming is used as a vehicle for reaching the organization’s goals, for example, teaching business skills to youth, or improving healthy food access in under-served communities.

When asked about challenges in starting up their urban farms, the most common issues farmers mentioned were business and financial planning, marketing, and accessing land. From a business perspective, most urban farmers were still learning how to make their enterprises profitable. They also struggled with production issues such as crop planning, pests, and irrigation. And many had encountered confusing zoning issues and regulations.
Of the 27 urban farmers we interviewed, 19 were also involved in advocating for local policy change to facilitate urban agriculture. As one interviewee said: “In order to start the urban farm, we have had to jump into policy work to get it off the ground.”

One theme that emerged through our visits and discussions with urban farmers is the need for a ready and reliable source of information on everything from starting a farm to production to local regulations. With experts around the state, UC ANR has access to research and information on a wide variety of farming and related topics. The UC ANR Urban Agriculture website has been created as a resource for urban farmers in California, where we’ll continue to add helpful material, urban farm stories from around the state, and updates on policies in our metropolitan areas. We encourage urban farmers and urban agriculture advocates in California to connect.

If you are in the market to buy or sell agriculture property in Northern California, Realtors associated with Century 21 M&M Agriculture is look forward to walking you through the process. Rest assured that Century 21 M&M Agriculture Realtors will do their best to make sure that both sides are protected during the transaction.

Strong Farm Incomes Hold Land Values in Check

Source: 60 acres in Isleton at 15687 Isleton Road in Row Crops, contact Ron Stevenson (530)681-1092

Positive income results for farms, combined with a tight land supply, have bufferedeconomists’ previously projected downturn of farmland values, according to Farmers NationalCompany, the nation’s leading farm and ranch real estate company.

Farmers National Company recorded strong real estate sales for the first half of 2014, downsomewhat from record sales experienced in 2013. Aggressive marketing by Farmers Nationalagents and good demand for land have propelled this year’s sales.

“The big story is that the land market is stable, despite projections that farm income and landvalues would drop,” said Randy Dickhut, AFM, Vice President of Real Estate Operations ofFarmers National Company. “The anticipated large drop in farmland values hasn’t happened,as farm incomes were stronger than expected going into 2014. Original income projections of 20 percent below last year were not realized.”

In late 2013, forecasters were pessimistic for the year ahead.   However, Dickhut saideconomic trends and key market factors shifted in a way that paints a more positive picture forthis year.

While land values nationally are slightly down a few percent or stable,  Dickhut said valuesoverall remain historically strong. The northern plains area has experienced the mostsoftening of land values due to weather conditions and lower commodity prices last year.Still, good quality farms sell well as demand continues from buyers.   In contrast, the delta region has experienced land value increases of 13 percent due to good crop production.

Regionally, land prices remain fairly stable compared to the double-digit price increases seenin recent years. Prices per acre for high quality land range nationwide from $3,500 to as highas $12,500 per acre in parts of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. Values in the UpperMidwest remain strong overall with sales reaching $9,000 per acre in some locations.

As demand rises, prices for grass land continue to increase in places like Nebraska and Texas.Livestock producers are rebuilding depleted cattle herds, which puts pasture land at apremium. Reduced feed costs for livestock have helped boost income levels in this ag sector,allowing operators to acquire land

“The 2014 outlook for farms remains positive,” said Dickhut. “Farm owners continue tosearch for high quality land to expand their operations. I think economic forecasts overratedthe demise of the U.S. land market. Things didn’t fall apart, but instead held steady andstrong.

Profitability for operations helped to ultimately keep property values strong.”

If you are in the market to buy or sell agriculture property in Northern California, Realtors associated with Century 21 M&M Agriculture is look forward to walking you through the process. Rest assured that Century 21 M&M Agriculture Realtors will do their best to make sure that both sides are protected during the transaction.


Vending Machines Go Farm Fresh


Photo illustration by Jeremy Purser

Source: ~ Author: Tove Danovich

How can we make it easier to buy local foods? It’s a question that’s plagued everyone from farmers market organizers to food activists to state governments.

In 2013, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo set aside $2 million for a marketing campaign known asTaste NY, as well as a $60 million tourism initiative called “I Love NY.” As part of the initiative, visitors can now partake in programs such as local wine trails, where they can sample New York made wines. But perhaps more surprisingly, they’ve gussied up those much-maligned roadside features: rest stops. In addition to stores featuring local products and farmers markets, the state is now tackling vending machines, long-recognized sources of less-than-local fare.

Vending machines, invented near the beginning of the first century, have a surprisingly long past. According to Kerry Seagrave’s “Vending Machines: A Social History of the Devices,” the first one was coin-operated and designed to sell holy water. In 1888, food vending machines got their start with the advent of gum dispensers selling tutti-fruitti gum at train stations in New York City. By 1950, vendors had the ability to sell refrigerated sandwiches. Yet outside of the brief automat craze, few bothered to sell perishable goods. Until recently, the machines were mostly used to sell the 4Cs: coffee, cigarettes, cola and candy.

Then farmers and foodie companies realized the appeal of using vending machines to sell raw milk, eggs, or fresh meals on the go. Glaum Egg Ranch in Santa Cruz County, California was one of the earliest adopters, dispensing eggs with a side of entertainment. When customers purchase eggs, they’re also treated to an animatronic show complete with singing and dancing chickens. A more traditional vending machine called Farmer’s Fridge was unveiled in 2013. The company sells restaurant-quality, locally sourced meals in BPA-free containers. Farm-fresh vending machines in the United States often sport buzzwords or gimmicks to get customers (and the media) excited. In Europe and Japan, they’re a less flashy affair and many farmers use vending machines as an efficient alternative to roadside stands. The Brunimat milk vending machine was the first of its kind in Europe in 1994, long before eating local became a nation-wide trend in the United States.

New York decided to implement a vending machine program that was somewhere between practical and publicity stunt. Machines at rest stops are now selling items ranging from Red Jacket Orchard juices from Geneva, New York to Finger Lakes Fresh apple slices from Groton and Sweet Sam’s cookies from the Bronx. Health-wise, these vending machines are a far cry from dairy and eggs, but they’re getting people comfortable with the idea that local food is for everyone.

New York has installed 10 machines throughout the state and hopes to install more if they prove popular. This marks the first time local-fare vending machines have been sponsored by the public sector. Vending machines have a number of advantages over brick-and-mortar stores or even farmers markets. There’s no need to pay an employee to run the register and, unlike a weekly market, the machines can run 24/7 in many locations at once. As far as trends go, farm-fresh vending machines are surprisingly practical. They bring local foods to customers who aren’t likely to sign up for a CSA or visit their local farmers market.

Health-wise, these vending machines are a far cry from dairy and eggs, but they’re getting people comfortable with the idea that local food is for everyone.

“Tourism and agriculture in New York is a huge industry,” said Joe Morrissey, Spokesman for the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets. And that means that the state wants to get the most people possible on board with the local trend.

Especially in the last decade, eating local has developed the stigma that it’s only for a certain class of people. The state’s ability to promote local food in the most everyman of government buildings — a rest stop — is a huge step toward making such foods feel more accessible. The vending machines also boost farm income and offer a bit of brand recognition. Visitors who see a farm’s name in a vending machine, for instance, might be moved to take part in a farm tour or seek out their products elsewhere.

Finding unique ways to bring local foodstuffs to people who otherwise might not consume it is an idea that is taking hold across the country. In Vermont, another state with a strong interest in promoting local food, the state government has started placing local foods in veterans’ homes, hospitals, schools and state offices.

“Vermont has taken the successful farm-to-school model and broadened it into this larger farm-to-institution initiative,” says local foods administrator Abbey Willard.

By repurposing the decades-old technology of vending machines to support local food, New York is doing the same. Often, buying local means eating out at an expensive restaurant or cooking a meal from scratch with farmers market groceries. As Morrissey points out, “Vending machines are great for people on the go.”

If you are in the market to buy or sell agriculture property in Northern California, Realtors associated with Century 21 M&M Agriculture is look forward to walking you through the process. Rest assured that Century 21 M&M Agriculture Realtors will do their best to make sure that both sides are protected during the transaction.

Stanislaus farm income soars, with almonds chasing dairy for top spot

Courtesy of Modesto Bee

STANISLAUS COUNTY — Stanislaus County farmers had a record $3.28 billion in gross income last year, a report released Tuesday said, and almonds almost knocked milk from the No. 1 spot.

The 7 percent gain over 2011 came mainly from almonds, walnuts, chickens, tomatoes and grapes, Agricultural Commissioner Milton O’Haire told the Board of Supervisors.

He cautioned that the annual report does not account for production costs, notably the high-priced feed for dairy cattle. Nonetheless, board members took the 2012 total as proof that agriculture in general is thriving. Read more…

Read more here:

FARM BEAT: Local ag has room to grow, chief says – Modesto Bee

The state’s top ag official talked over lunch this week with the Modesto Rotary Club.

Her topic: the importance of lunch — not to mention breakfast and dinner — to the health of people around the world.

Karen Ross, secretary of food and agriculture for Gov. Jerry Brown, noted the growth in California farm exports during her remarks at the DoubleTree Hotel.

She also cited the growing interest among Americans in how their food is produced, something they can learn about at produce stands, farmers markets, festivals and other venues.

“We are in a time and a place when consumers here and across the country are yearning to reconnect with their food,” Ross said.

Read more here:

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Ag Columnist Shares Funny Side of Ranch Life


Amy Kirk Ag Columnist

Amy Kirk has found times in life where, if you didn’t laugh, you couldn’t help but cry.

So instead of shedding a tear, she has turned the funny misadventures of her ranch family into a weekly humor column.

Kirk and her husband, Art, raise their two teenagers on a cow-calf operation near Pringle in the southern Black Hills. She combines her passion for agriculture, the outdoors and writing into her column entitled A Ranchwife’s Slant.

Read More…

Ag sales brisk, values up

Price paid per acre tops $12,000

The strength of farming in the Central Valley is clearly evident in the strong demand shown for farming acres in Tulare County and the high price that farmland is bringing.

The Ranch Company, a real estate firm that specializes in the sales of ag land, reported that in 2012 the price per acre of farm land, excluding range land, was a whopping $12,162 an acre, an increase of 68 percent over 2011, and the most ever.

“That’s the healthiest its been,” said John Grimmius of The Ranch Company. “We’re in a very high market.”

Prices were up across the board, with the exception of dairies. Several years of low prices have made the milk business very difficult, with several bankruptcies and several dairies closing. However, that is beginning to turn around, said Patricia Stever-Blattner, chief executive officer for the Tulare County Farm Bureau.

“It’s very flat and still recovering,” she said, adding that prices paid for milk have improved to the point dairymen are no longer losing money.

Although dairies were not that attractive, land that can be used to grow dairy feed was popular in 2012.

Blattner said the prices paid for farm land are indicative of the strength of agriculture.

“Even though we’re in tough economic times, the ag industry has always been a stabilizing force. It is not surprising to see ag land prices remain strong and improve,” she said.

Grimmius said 235 farm parcels totaling 50,090 acres of land were sold in 2012 for more than a total of $221 million. That compares to 240 parcels sold in 2011 at a total value of $184 million.

Farm land values did take a dip in 2009 and 2010, falling to as low as $7,000 an acre in 2010, but have been rising every since.

Fueling the sales and higher prices was citrus, pointed out Grimmius. Read More…