I grew up in the town of Colonie. What today is suburbia was then farm fields and apple orchards. My family’s 10 acres was farmed by my Uncle with his 20 acres. I was certainly not a farmer but I grew up with a sense of the land that has stayed with me to this day. When I was still a young child the capital region’s version of Levittown replaced the apple orchards. Hundreds of modest capes sprung up and a piece of the country was gone.
I now live in southern Rensselaer County, an area that is undergoing the same transformation Colonie went through in the fifties and sixties. I suppose I am drawn to this region because it reminds me of my youth. The small back roads with their farm fields and woods stirs that sense of the land within me. The land that is slowly, inevitably dwindling away. I remember when there were 200 million Americans. Today there are 300 million and in 2040 there will be nearly 400 million. The farmlands and woods will inevitably be replaced with 4000 square foot McMansions dotting the hillsides.