In the Name of Progress
The Avon Cider Mill is as much at the root of my passion for clean food as my mother’s Goodness Soup and my Easy Bake Oven. From my earliest memory, fall has been synonymous with Sunday family drives over the mountain to the mill for the best apples, cider and pumpkins around. Even after I had long left home, I required a shipment from the mill once a year so that I could revisit those tastes and memories.
As soon as I moved back to this area I started bringing my young family to the mill. The apple cider fritters captivated them from day one (hardly a surprise), and each year at the end of August my girls would start asking “When will it be time to visit the mill again?” I admit, the bleachers of pumpkins hardly seem like the sky-high jungle gym we climbed on as children. But between the piles of pumpkins, the baskets of apples and the little red wagons that were here when I was a child, there is still magic at the Avon Cider Mill. This special place is much more than our family tradition, it is part of the history of our town and the entire surrounding area.
Unfortunately, Avon Cider Mill’s days are numbered. In the name of progress, the mill will be closing at the end of the season to make way for a new magnet school being built on the same grounds. When the mill goes, so goes a piece of my heart. The gentleman who sold me my cider just the other day was working behind the same counter when he (and I) was 10. Is there anyplace that you shop where you have such a connection these days?
As you drive through town, it’s hard to miss the many empty storefronts, malls where once were dense forests, and even a new CVS going up just 1/2 mile from another CVS (and Walgreens) and in a spot where just weeks ago stood a tree-lined field. I can’t help but wonder, when are we going to stop?
When will our communities be defined not by where we shop, but by where we connect with our neighbors?
When will we support our local farms and farmers, instead of continuing to buy produce shipped from around the world?
What is it going to take to develop our communities to support healthy families instead of profits and taxes…to put down our cell phones and make our roads safe for drivers, bikers, runners and walkers alike…and to say no to progress that destroys our environment, demolishes our history, and takes with it those things that make our communities unique and special?
I am not against building a new magnet school that will educate our children and serve our community, but I am against doing it in a way that takes away a piece of history and a family’s livelihood for generations past and to come.
I am grateful for being able to share this special place with my children, but sad that they will not have the same opportunity to share it with theirs. Avon Cider Mill, you will be missed.