by Audrey Thomasson
KILMARNOCK—March winds blew some rough times for farmer Carolyn Quinn. While spending a great deal of time trying to rezone her property from residential to agriculture, she suspected someone was stealing money from her roadside stand.
After months of attending county meetings, Dug In Farms on Fleet’s Bay Road near Kilmarnock, was rezoned by supervisors March 30. While the property has a history of farming, several years ago the area was rezoned to residential.
Quinn, who wanted to add a few hogs to her vegetable and chicken operations, needed to change things back. Supervisors asked her to take a month and consider a special exception permit, instead, which is not transferable while zoning designation transfers with the property.
When Quinn decided to take the path to rezone, it passed unanimously.
Meanwhile, Quinn was returning home to discover money was missing from an “honor box” at her roadside stand, a convenience she maintains for shoppers when no one is there to man the booth.
“Everyone told me it was inevitable” that money would be stolen, said Quinn.
“I wasn’t sure what to do. The honor box is a symbol of pride to me and to so many of my customers. It represents that we live in a community that is trusting and trustworthy. And now that faith and pride was shattered,” she said.
But then dollar bills started turning up in her fields. She also found cash on the ground beneath the honor box and coins scattered in her driveway. Even her dog got into the act, trotting up with a dollar bill in his mouth.
When Quinn inspected the box, she found a few bills still inside, tucked in with some twigs and grass.
The thief turned out to be a bird who had a very particular taste about the cash it wanted to use to feather it’s nest.
A brick now sits on top of the box—at least during nesting season, says Quinn.
“I have to laugh knowing that somewhere on the property is a hardworking, but disappointed starling and probably a nest lined in dollar bills,” she said.