Local Farmer, Lower Pottsgrove Both Benefit at Hay Field

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Skies filled with sunshine accompanied by a light breeze made for perfect weather Wednesday (June 29, 2022) to again fulfill an annually renewed, years-long deal between Lower Pottsgrove and a local farmer that has consistently benefited both.

Local Farmer, Lower Pottsgrove Both Benefit at Hay Field

Farmer Ryan Lehman makes a contractual offer each year to the township Board of Commissioners to mow the dedicated open space field at the corner of North Pleasant View and Bliem roads at no monetary cost. Instead, he’s allowed to keep the hay as compensation.

Lehman profits by selling the hay to mushroom growers as bedding material, he has explained in the past. The township wins too, because it avoids using its Public Works Department employees to do the job, Manager Ed Wagner adds. This year’s agreement was unanimously approved by commissioners during their April 21 meeting.

Lehman simultaneously used two well-equipped tractors Wednesday afternoon to rake the already-cut field into windrows (at top), and a second to create large hay bales (above) that, for now, have been left where they dropped to continue drying. They’ll be picked up and hauled away after their moisture content is reduced.

The field was once owned by the Pottsgrove School District as a potential site for an elementary school building. That project never occurred, and the township in 2007 bought the property with the help of Montgomery County open space funding. It’s 20 acres are designated as a future location for what is known as “Pleasantview Park.”

Suggestions for the park were made by a committee of township residents and officials, and a master plan paid by state funding were drawn up by a Norristown firm. It would add several additional ball playing fields and another walking trail to the township’s park and recreation inventory, but only when money is available to build it. Commissioners acknowledge that’s not likely anytime soon.

The acreage Lehman may mow in future years, assuming he wins the contract once more, is expected to shrink slightly on its south side across from the nearly completed Spring Valley Farms housing community. The state Department of Transportation obtained a right-of-way for a slice of the field along Bliem Road. The additional land would allow it to straighten Bliem, and eventually connect it directly to the intersection of Pleasant View and Pruss Hill roads.

Photos by The Post