In his letter two weeks ago [“A request for neighborliness, not an assault on farming,” Oct. 3], Jimmy Swindler claimed that the tenants of his rental property were moving out due to lack of sleep caused by the propane cannon located in the small orchard in Rappahannock County. We are those tenants, Mary Ann and Bobby Jenkins.
In the beginning, the cannon device was a nuisance. However, after careful consideration we realized it was a necessity to protect the crops. Our decision to vacate the rental property was in no way caused by the noise produced by the cannon; our family’s home became available and we simply did not want to pass the offer up this time.
Prior to installation of the cannon, the orchard owner met with the family of the accuser to address any concerns or issues regarding use of the device. No objections to use of the cannon were raised at that time.
Blame should not be placed on the orchard owner for our departure, as in addition to meeting with neighboring homes regarding the cannon’s use and placement, he has also been an extremely generous and helpful neighbor. With any business venture, one has the right to protect their investment. A simple noise complaint is not what lies at the root of this issue — increased competition for bulk apple sales in the area has angered others to create a backlash against a small thriving orchard.
Mary Ann and Bobby Jenkins