University of Maryland Extension

Neighbor relations, because you can’t not

Neith Little, Extension Agent, Urban Agriculture

Urban Ag home | Table of contents

Whether for-profit or not-for-profit, outdoors on a vacant lot or indoors using artificial lights, an urban farm by definition is surrounded by neighbors. Having a good relationship with those neighbors can at minimum prevent nuisance complaints, and in worst case scenarios can save the farm when emergencies strike or developers come knocking. Get to know your neighbors, and be a good neighbor yourself. Be aware of farm activities that might disturb neighbors, such as smells, noise, and traffic and work to minimize their impacts. Beyond that, cultivate relationships with neighbors and listen to their input on ways the farm can be an asset to the community. When conflicts do arise, consider making use of mediation services, such as those offered by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

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