Sunday, January 04, 2009

A field of Sunflowers


This past week I was surprised to discover this wonderful field planted with sunflowers near my work place, an unusual site since my office is in the middle of the city of Doral, one of Miami Dade County’s newest cities.
The city of Doral is located in the western-end of the county. Twenty years ago ,the area was all agricultural and unincorporated. Today, the city is full of office complexes, warehouses, and shopping centers and it is one of the fastest growing cities in southern Florida.

The land where these sunflowers are planted is worth millions because it is zoned for development. But as long as it is being used for agriculture (hence--the sunflowers), the taxes are minimum because by state law, any "agricultural" land is taxed very very low. I am sure that is the reason the sunflowers are there, because the owner of the field is sitting on valuable land and saving a ton in taxes while the land appraises (especially during this housing bubble). This is a good thing because it gives us an oasis in the middle of the city for all of us to enjoy, even though the state loses considerable tax revenue.

9 comments:

Daphne said...

Beautiful sunflowers. I love seeing the southern gardens about now. We are locked in snow and all we can do is dream (and plan) about green things.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

What I wouldn't give to see sunflowers now! Do they grow these for bird seed?

Ara Morenberg Cochran said...

Rusty - I want to go see this field of sunflowers. How do I get there? I'm in Pembroke Pines. It reminds me of the movie Everything Is Illuminated. Truly fabulous - just breath-taking.

Ara

laura said...

where is that at?

Susan said...

How lucky you are to pass by these gorgeous flowers everyday. Enjoy them!

Sue said...

(I just wrote an uninformed opinion that I almost deleted, but decided to come up here, and say that in no way am I accusing you of having a wrong opinion or anything pertaining to the sunflower field, but do feel it's a good thing the agriculture tax rate is still in effect there from my perspective.)

The first house my husband and I bought was an old farm house on three lots. I don't remember how old the house was, but the neighborhood was old. When our son was 11 months old, we moved to a new development with inexpensive cookie cutter homes. There were 2 rows of houses between us and the highway and farm behind us. We still had some alfalfa in our garden, since the area was recently a farm, too. We could see the cows and hear them when the calves were separated from their mothers. About 10 years ago, we moved here, where my husband used to live, in the center of town. The area that used to be behind us in our last neighborhood is now a housing development, too.

Here is the point to my story. The owners may be getting a nice tax break for growing the sunflowers, but the whole area at one time, was not zoned for development. Our cities keep encroaching on undeveloped land. I am concerned about the future of farms in Nebraska, where I live, and other states. The population grows, along with the need for food, and the family farm is being sold to developers and corporations who don't care about the environment.

I imagine there are way more people in your area than mine, and have no clue what the needs are, but just thought the sunflowers look so nice where they are, a nice respite from the development all around it.

Feel free to nicely inform me if I don't know what I'm talking about.

Shari said...

Thanks for the sunflower field photos. They made my day in Oklahoma's freezing weather.

Anonymous said...

This field is located at the corner of NW 25th Street and NW 97th Avenue in Doral, next to Metro-Dade's police HQ and Southern Command. Be on your best behavior if you visit! ;-) It looks like they are growing some other crops there as well, would love to know the farmer to be able to buy local products, if anybody finds out, please post.

Tay said...

hey, i life in Kendall, about 10 min from Doral. i wanted to know where this field is because it is my girlfriends and I one year anniversary and i wanted to take her to a sunflower field. sunflowers are her favorite flowers so this would mean a lot to her. i dont need the exact address maybe if you dont feel comfortable telling it to me just maybe say "97th Ave & 41st ST" ill understand where is located. ill drive around and find it. please let me know thanks!