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Vineyard Silences Air Cannon

Move comes day after Avon Lake city hall announces an injunction is possible.

Less than 24 hours after Greg Zilka said his city’s residents could file anusing an air cannon, the farm owner said he will stop using it.

Barbara Schober confirmed the cannon, used to keep away animals threatening the grape crop, will be permanently silenced.

“It will never be fired again,” Barbara Schober said. She is the husband of grape grower Edward Schober Sr., of Schober Vineyards in Avon.

Schober also posted a comment on Patch following the article that said Schober’s permit affording the farm protection had expired, allowing the injunction.

“As of this time (2 p.m. on 09/11), the air cannon has been retired and will NEVER be fired again,” she wrote. “I would just like you to know that we lost 90 percent of our crop due to frost in the spring and we were only trying to save the remaining 10 percent.”

She added that her husband was not trying to make enemies, but “only to save the remaining crop that he works all year long to harvest.”

Although pick-your-own seasin is over, the farm will still provide to the fresh markets as long as grapes area available and hold up to nature's influences.

Jim Smith called Zilka on Sept. 11 to notify him Schober had discontinued the cannon.

Zilka sent an email to council members on Sept. 11 regarding the vineyard's action.

“I expressed concern that Mr. Schober might be doing this to avoid legal action that would take place before he could renew his agricultural district status and, thus, use the cannon again this year and he said that was not his intent,” Zilka wrote to council members. “Taking Mr. Schober on his word, we should not expect to hear the cannon the rest of this year and next year.”

Zilka credited Law Director Abe Lieberman, who discovered the lapsed permit, for “his work on this vexing issue.”

Posters on the Avon-Avon Lake Facebook page, including several from Avon Lake, expressed support for the Schobers. 

"So people are complaining about something that has been going on for how long? way before they even lived there?," Nick Perry posted. "(S)hould've considered that before moving to a more rural area...Last time i checked those farms/vineyards where there much longer then those high dollar housing developments."

Residents in southeast Avon Lake, near Schober’s farm had called Avon Lake City Hall as well the complaining of the cannon, which went off every 50 seconds during the night.

Hans September 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Beth Gee- My name is Hans. I live on the border, which is several streets from where you live. Using my full name will validate what? This illegal issue is in the books. Please start using your energy to combat those "mass production labs using chemicals", I think they are called FARMS! I think I smell a lib.
Hans September 13, 2012 at 01:18 PM
wmt, There was never any lawsuit. Read the article before making your opinion. Avon Lake resident's were made aware that we could file a civil injunction. Mr. Schober started using the cannon after we moved in. Let me clarify that since you keep referring to it: there were NOT any air cannons being used to protect his crop when we moved in. Mr. Schober has been very adamant about his protecting his crop without regards to the noise pollution that affects people's lives. There are many other alternatives to protecting your crop without the noise pollution. Stop wasting your time here and help a farmer out!
Beth Gee September 14, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Okay Hans, All I can say is that if those cannon shots bothered you so much, I can only imagine how you feel when the train rumbles by:)
Patch reader September 25, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Residents in southeast Avon Lake, near Schober’s farm had called Avon Lake City Hall as well the Avon Police Department complaining of the cannon, which went off every 50 seconds during the night." OMG! Every 50 seconds? No way I could sleep through that. How do the farmers do it? There needs to be another option for protecting crops. Electric fence? Tall fence with a pack of great pyrenees to keep out the raccoons, deer, etc? What do growers elsewhere do?
Patch reader September 25, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Would someone please post a list of the farms in the area that offer pick-your-own produce, or just local produce in general for sale? I would like to visit them before the season is completely over. Thanks!

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