NEWLAND — Luke Henderson wasn’t too sure about selling off a piece of his Avery County Christmas tree farm to make way for a new kind of farm, one planted with row upon row of solar panels.Read the full article
But with a slack economy weighing on his business, as well as depressed wholesale prices for his evergreens, Henderson decided selling 6 acres of his 33-acre farm made good economic sense.
“To me, it was a way to create more income for my family and a way to create jobs for the community,” Henderson said Thursday after an afternoon ceremony to mark the completion of the project.
The $5 million project used local residents for everything from site preparation work to drawing up legal documents. It translated into about 20 installation jobs, with eight of those earning an industry standard certification they can take to other jobs. And it moved the land into a higher tax category.