These old barns are good for more than reclaimed wood and weddings
By Lori Rotenberk, 3 Sep 2014 for Grist
Jeff Marshall rolls along the Pennsylvania Turnpike, counting barns on the horizon — 50 so far today, many of them disintegrating. Marshall heads the National Barn Alliance, a nonprofit that works with advocacy groups across the country. He’s speaking on the phone about how many barns have been lost in recent years, as farmers can no longer afford to maintain them, and federal and local funds for restoration dwindle.
According to the American Farmland Trust, we’ve lost 72 million acres of farmland since 1982, with the trend expected to hasten as farmers retire and die. How many barns there once were and how many remain isn’t really known.
But Marshall says a salvation of sorts is taking place. Continue reading