A farm amidst sprawl

Hundreds of baby chicks huddle under a heat lamp.  A few short steps away, the family garden blooms with okra, melon, Swiss chard, collard greens, tomatoes. The cows graze under a sky blue and cloudless.

The Benne farm in St. Charles County, Mo. looks like any other rural farm. But, bordered on all sides by suburban sprawl, the farm faces inevitable change.

The Bennes grew up in St. Charles County. Their family has worked the land since the early 1800s. Before Dairy Queen, which now borders the Benne farm. Before condominium complexes, whose flowers the Bennes pigs trampled when they got loose.

The Bennes recall the time when realtors made daily visits to the farm asking to purchase their land. They refused every day. The farm means too much to them.

— Eric Dundon



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