The lyrics to a popular song go, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Well, our paradise is 22,000 acres in the Ag Reserve and our parking lot could be land that builders want to grab up and build houses and assorted commercial establishments on.
Our Ag Reserve is an area right here in South Florida unlike any other in our country and perhaps in the world. It is an area blessed by the moderate weather of the gulf and, therefore, able to be used for growing vegetables all year round. Thus, the phrase “winter vegetables’ applies to so many of the crops that flourish in the Ag Reserve even when they can’t grow anywhere else.
Historically, the agreement for division of the Ag Reserve has been 60/40, with 60 percent of that area dedicated to farming. Many families have farmed that land for generations. However, builders continue to look to infringe on that division for profit.
If they succeed, rest assured that those fresh, healthy vegetables that we enjoy will cost more and may indeed become unavailable at all! Commissioner Jess Santamaria knows how important it is to preserve our farmland but has little support from others on the Palm Beach County Commission.
We must urge all members of the Palm Beach County Commission to vote with Commissioner Santamaria to preserve our “paradise.” What are they waiting for? As that song concludes, “You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone!”
Arlene Olinsky, Royal Palm Beach