Aftermath

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David getting field P2 ready for spring planting.

In the aftermath of hurricane Dorian, the farm looks different and we’ve gained a new perspective.  Overall, we made it through with very little damage.  One experimental hoop house blew down.  It failed where I used one instead of two pieces of wood to support the end wall.  Won’t do that again!

Even though things got beat up and tossed around, the farm looks beautiful to me now.  The wind and rain could have damaged all crops, greenhouses, and buildings.  We just didn’t know.  As Dorian approached on Saturday morning, Jen and I were working with the crew tightening ropes on hoop houses, moving sandbags, putting away bundles of insect netting, and grabbing anything that might fly around in the storm before the winds got too strong to be safe outside.  Aaron, who is really into weather, was monitoring the coming storm closely, and showed us radar photos while we strategized about priority actions.  His calm and supportive energy brought new meaning to the expression grace under pressure.  Even though the crew normally doesn’t work on a Saturday, most of them were there, in the rain and wind, getting everything to a safe place.  Marshall and Hilary (from Fill Yer Boots Farm next door) moved the laying hen coops off the windy pasture to the shelter of the barn and as usual, they were pitching in to help out.  When it got too crazy outside, we all went in, lit a fire in the woodstove, and hunkered down.  We felt grateful for all the help, and when we woke up in the morning and discovered the damage was not too bad, we felt even more grateful.

Before the storm, when the Warehouse Market was bustling and busier than ever, we felt so happy to have a North-End neighbourhood outlet full of appreciative customers.  People were vocal with their support and well-wishes!  Thank you!

Nothing like some gratitude to inspire a fresh perspective and love for this farm that I sometimes feel burdened by.  In this state of heightened awareness, two things came to mind.

  1. I love growing food for our farm share members and the Warehouse Market, and want to be part of the amazing community that is developing there for a long time.
  2. We need to plan for the unexpected, such as storms, natural disasters, illness, injury, and loss of sales from other factors beyond our control, like road work or a sudden downturn in the economy.

I’m extra happy to have this fairly normal week on the farm.  Besides harvesting, we have been planting winter crops, and preparing land for spring planting.  I was tilling in a cover crop where this spring, we could not get the tractor on the field.  (Remember the excessive rain this spring?) Even after all the rain from the hurricane, the soil was beautiful and full of roots from the rye and clover that regrew from a planting in 2018.  This way, we will be ready to plant early in the spring of 2020.

We are getting excited for our farm tour and feast on Saturday Sept 21.  Tickets ($20) are for sale at the Warehouse Market until Saturday Sept 14.

Please note: Some of our crops will have rumpled and torn leaves this week.  We are harvesting these crops with extra care, trying to remove damaged leaves, but many little tears will remain.  If you get arugula and other extra tender crops from us, please eat them within a few days, since the wind damage will reduce the shelf life.

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These poplar trees on the highest point of land on the farm fell in opposite directions.  First the wind came from the East, then from the West.

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This photo by Dani Miller shows one example of how great the crops were looking right before the hurricane.  It would have been a real heartbreak to lose them

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Marshall moving chicken coops to a sheltered spot.  Good thing they’re on wheels.

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The seedlings for fall and winter were moved to a sheltered spot in the barn basement.  They look so healthy and vigorous!

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Aaron is in there somewhere, pruning

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Post storm best buds!

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Zoe gets out to the farm once a week to help out.  Here she’s helping Kim harvest leeks and is pointing to a boat in the Cogmagun River behind her