Farming Golf

Many family farms in Michigan are being sold to land developers who offer big money for precious acreage developing the land into luxury homes and sporting rangers such as Reddeman Farms Golf Course…

Previously a working dairy farm, the designers made use of the barns and silo by weaving the front nine around them, keeping a country atmosphere. What does this mean to you? No noise, no traffic and no large developments! Just a good restful round of golf!

 

Reddeman Farms now boasts a 6,525 yard championship layout complete with rolling fairways and undulating greens. Water on 13 holes offers challenge and excitement for every caliber of golfer.

(Reddeman Farms Golf Course (2010) Available at:  http://reddemanfarms.com)

When I was young my family used to buy milk from Karen a farmer down the road from the Reddeman Farm.  I remember the land being sold and the distress it caused in the local farming community.  More and more farmers in Michigan and across the Midwest are feeling the economic pinch as they struggle to keep their farms.  Land development is on the rise again as more and more people seek the American Dream outside of city limits looking to the tranquil countryside for relief and a new patch of ground – modern home-steading in the 21st century.

I will be conducting field research over the next few months exploring sites that have experienced dramatic shifts in land use over the past decades – Reddeman Farms being a prime example.  I will be talking with people who are experiencing these shifts from both sides – farmers and former inhabitants and residents who are currently living in these sites.  I hope to find a way of mapping these sites that introduces a dialogue about the locations rather than seeking a pure “representation” of the site. My interest is in the way people experience the land, how is influences and shapes the way they view the world.

How has this place changed?  What used to be here?

How will this place change?  Who inhabits this site?

Mike Pearson writes in his book “In Comes I” Performance, Memory and Landscape (2006):

Just as landscapes are constructed out of the imbricated actions and experiences of people, so people are constructed in and dispersed through their habituated landscape: each individual, significantly, has a particular set of possibilities in presenting as account of their own landscape: stories.

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