The age of agriculture has come to a close as the last vestiges of farm land in Twinsburg Township turn into residential housing.
Work began on developing the land of the 12.5-acre former Blue Jaye Farm parcel around the beginning of February, according to Twinsburg Township Manager Robert Kagler. All the buildings at the farm have been razed.
Pulte Homes will build the subdivision that will have 23 lots and lead from Liberty Road straight back to a cul de sac. Another road will link the neighborhood to an existing development.
Kagler called the project "a long time coming."
"It’s been called Blue Jaye Farm for some time and there’s been different aspects of agriculture there on and off over the years," Kagler said. "But for the past several years, the property has been vacant and not utilized."
Michelle Jaye, former owner of Blue Jaye Farm, said the property has been vacant since 2016. Zoning plans for the area were approved in 2017 and the county approved it for subdivision purposes in 2018, Kagler said.
"I can’t say I’m thrilled about it not being a farm, but where it’s located it really didn't have much choice to be anything else," Jaye said. "You have high density residential all the way around you. It was destined to be the same type of property there."
When Jaye moved into the space in 1997, she said at least four or five other farms lined Liberty Road, which curls through the city and township. Through the years, the farms were sold one by one and became housing. Though it helped with retail sales, Jaye remarked how difficult it is to have a rural farm in an urban setting.
Through the years, Blue Jaye Farm hosted activities and sold seasonal produce year-round. From a farmers market to hanging baskets to a petting zoo to hayrides during the fall harvest festival, the farm always offered something to do or see. The property’s last harvest festival was in 2013 and Jaye said she’s been gone from the property since 2014.
Kimberly Kuhlman-Page, a resident of Twinsburg for 11 years, fondly remembers the farm and says she was sad to see it, and others, go.
"So many people just thing it's progress and in goes another development," Kuhlman-Page said. "I just think it's sad because it's the passing away of history. Twinsburg was, what I consider to be at least, more of a quaint little town. It's just sad seeing those things go away."
All is not lost, though. Jaye said she still continues as Blue Jaye Farm at Heritage Farms in Peninsula. The fall harvest festival, complete with pumpkins, a Christmas celebration and other activities, still happens year after year.
"A lot of my people are still with it," Jaye said. "They understand these things changed. The area has developed so much and the pressures of the area around the farm make it very hard to work a farm."
Heritage Farms is located at 6050 Riverview Rd. in Peninsula.
Reporter Kaitlyn McGarvey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-298-1127