Customers receive a membership card and a gold-trimmed certificate
noting they've become "Friends of Pointe-of-View Farm." A plaque with
each person's name is placed on the selected tree.
The owners settled on the idea after struggling to make ends meet
growing apples. At one point, they turned their place into a weekend
pick-your-own farm to supplement income. But money from that came in
only during the August and September harvest season, and visitors
often ended up damaging the orchard as they tromped around, according
to the article.
Obviously, this idea wouldn't be suitable for all small farm owners, but it
does have a certain appeal as a creative source of revenue.
Apparently, the people who have bought leases have fallen in love with
the place. The article quotes a dermatologist who bought 6 leases -- "It
wasn't just for the apples, because you can grow them anywhere.
People need to get away from the rat race that's all around the city and
feel the tranquility of a farm. It's a chance for them to see what this
country was like, to see another world beyond the freeways and the
malls." An 85-year old woman who also signed a lease said,"If I wanted
to get out and scream, I can do it there. It's the kind of freedom you don't
get locked up in an apartment." She drives out nearly every weekend.