A former oil worker says the provincial Crown Lands division has hindered his plans for a sustainable farm in a rural Newfoundland community. When Adam Furlong decided to purchase a house and 2.2 acres of land in Bloomfield, a small community on the Bonavista Peninsula, he thought he'd found the perfect place to expand his farming business.
"It's a sustainable, bio-intensive, regenerative approach to farming so that you can produce a lot of food on a small land base," he told CBC News. Furlong said that, as a child, he learned about growing food from his father and grandfather and dreamed about one day starting his own farm. After a decade of working in the oil industry, he was ready to make that dream a reality.
Furlong and his wife sold their home and got ready to move to Bloomfield, but then the trouble started. "A week before we were supposed to be closing on this real estate deal and moving out here, Crown Lands stepped in and said that they owned the vast majority of the land, which actually included part of the house," he said.
He said he got a call in January from provincial Fisheries, Forestry, and Agriculture Minister Derrick Bragg, offering an agricultural lease on the land, with the caveat that Furlong gave up part of his existing 1.1 acres of land for an access route. "They're basically asking me to give up the legal right to my own legally owned land," he said.
Due to sight line requirements on the road along its border, Furlong said, the land, covered in dense trees and vegetation, isn't accessible except through his own property, which is considered "orphaned land."
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