Monday, June 21, 2010

Farmer bails hay from Countryside golf course

Linwood Caldwell bails hay at Countryside Golf Course

Linwood Caldwell, 75 has been mowing around Countryside Golf Course for 55 years. Caldwell today began mowing the 12th fairway planning to bail the hay tomorrow morning barring any precipitation.

He and his brother now deceased have worked the golf course property and the once airport property for hay to store in his barn. He estimates that 350 rolls will fill his barn to bulging. Any additional rolls he will sell.

Caldwell has about 14 head of cattle on his Bradshaw road farm. He said his mower alone cost $4800. Diesel fuel used to cost him .45 a gallon but now goes for $2.45 and he uses $400 to mow the Countryside property. Twine for bailing cost $36.95 now up from $10.95 when he first started mowing.

A team of horses did his first mowing in 1949. He bailed in squares until he got a roller.

His papers from the city still sit at home for signature. He became frustrated at spending the last month with Lynn DeHart of Parks and Recreation Department. They wanted him to trim and weedeat too. He just wants to do it for free.

He showed me a map they gave him that he said “they didn’t even know what property was theirs and what was the airports.” This 12th fairway resident helped show him explaining the land swap with the airport.

Assistant Manager, Brian Townsend insists that “legally” they only have to mow a 50 foot perimeter around the golf course and abutting property. Townsend correcting that “it is not a park but open space.”

“It is almost too late to get the hay,” said Caldwell. When asked what he meant by that he explained that it can grow too high. Undergrowth can make the hay unusable. He added something about it turning green that this “city girl” didn’t quite understand.

The papers he has yet to sign say he has to post a $500,000 bond and sign a liability waiver. Caldwell said, “if they don’t like it they can let it grow up.” He is covered he says by the Farm Bureau and “I ain’t a contractor I’m a farmer.”

He gets 40 bails mowing Laurence Transfer property and “they are grateful,” said Caldwell.

Though his recent colon surgery slowed him down today. His friend Jim Brown took over the tractor to finish the 12th fairway. Caldwell resting by his pickup truck was all smiles talking about farming, his children and grandchildren. He is giving them pieces of his property to build their homes.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Politics, Roanoke City Politics

Tags: , ,

Comments (3)

susan hall

June 21st, 2010 at 8:04 PM    

Linwood Caldwell — way to go son!!! The world needs more people like you. Thanks.

Kay Spangler

June 22nd, 2010 at 8:25 AM    

I was glad to see the grass mowed behind my house. Thank you Mr. Caldwell.


June 22nd, 2010 at 10:20 AM    

He’s not here yet today. I hope it is just a breather and the city didn’t get him.

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