Thursday, November 08, 2007

Under Siege for Pumpkins

This letter writer’s sarcastic thoughts matched mine, “There must be something crooked going on at this family-owned business ... after allowing children and their parents to visit and enjoy this beautiful farm for better than 25 years. Maybe you should check the pumpkin patch for some kind of mystery green weed growing there, or better yet seize the old steam train for going too slow.

Rest peacefully, all residents of Yolo County: Your elected officials are really watching out for crime in your area! One could only wonder: Don't you have anything better to do?"

- E.J. Radican, Rocklin”

Mr. Radican was referring to the raid that Yolo County, CA officials made on the 1,000 acre farm of fifth generation farmer Bob Kirtlan recently. Kirtlan has run a pumpkin patch and train collection on his farm for the past 25 years. His
Silver Bend Farm is the autumn field trip destination for families and school children, attracting over 20,000 visitors each year. He tries to teach children where food comes from (to the surprise of some it is not the grocery store) and teach them old-style rural values.

But, Kirtlan didn’t know that he had to have a special operating permit and had been operating without one for a quarter century. But armed officials informed him otherwise and temporarily shut down his farm, charging him with a misdemeanor. Kirtlan hired an attorney who happened to be on the farm with her 4-year-old twin daughters at the time of the raid and got an injunction to allow him to operate through Halloween.

Do you ever think that we are over regulating ourselves to death when you have to get attorneys to operate a pumpkin patch?

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