As a resident of Chapel Hill, I admit I love the noise and bustle of a busy college town.  But, lately I wonder if many of us know as much about our rural countryside as we should?

I think we need to stop and smell the roses.  Okay, maybe the tractors, too.

Recently, I joined a committee that meets on a farm and discusses agricultural practices.  I’ll be honest.  The city girl in me rolled her eyes.  I’ve always been more comfortable around city lofts, skyscrapers, and noise.  Not so much John Deere and haystacks.

But, what’s interesting is that when I attend these meetings, it occurs to me that Chapel Hill is surrounded by fields and farms that haven’t changed in centuries.  It’s just a short drive from a whole other world.

Part of the magic of where we live is that we are able to move from the city to the country in almost nothing flat.  At first, you might see absence of something.  But, it won’t take you long to discover what is truly there, though.  Another way to live.  Another way of life.

Did you know that Orange County has more than 300 farms?  Open fields, river-edge pastures.

There are many opportunities to get out of our city life and enjoy nature.  Any day is a perfect day to get in the car, get out into the country, and enjoy green acres.

After all, green acres is the place to be.  Farm living is the life for me.

I hope it’s the life for you, too.


— Laurie Paolicelli


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