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A Bump in the Road
We have weathered storms, but none quite like this
It is amazing what can happen in 15 minutes. Saturday evening golden hour glowed across the farm. Rows thick with leaves and produce shown laden in the fading light, crops were in the final stages of ripening just in time for fall harvest, all was peaceful, all was right.
Sunday afternoon clouds started to swell and the wind picked up. A couple chunks of ice fell from the sky, then more, then more, till a cacophony of hail pelted the ground. A smattering of sizes crashed from the sky ranging from BBs to golf balls. After the chaos all was calm.
Approaching the field I could see piles of hail on the field edges. I began inspecting plants. Every single large pepper has a hole or two, the plants completely shredded of leaves. Ripe tomatoes with torn crowns, greens ones with cracks in the developing walls, all hanging from battered defoliated vines. Melons split from impact. Heads of lettuce eviscerated. It was like a blender passed over the field.
It is hard to say to what extent the damage is, but I know we will be recovering from this blow for months, maybe a year. What plants remain are devastated so late in the season it is likely they will no longer bear the fruits of our labor. September is the harvest month and the garden was poised to ripen perfectly with many of our crops in the final stages of maturation. The planning, planting, watering, weeding, pruning, more weeding, fertilizing, and care was done. Now all that work possibly lays to waste with a chance of not making a crop.
This is an expected risk inherent in farming, but I have never experienced a hailstorm so late in the season, let alone this violent. We are past the time to replant most of these crops. This is a hard hit to swallow.
Moving forward we will be harvesting what we can from the rubble, wholesaling the veg to several restaurant partners. Once the marginalized are cleaned we can figure our next steps. Whether or not to push and uproot the torn crops and replant, wait and hope for the best, or another path forward.
If you are interested in supporting us there are several ways. One, shop at the farm stand this week. We will maintain regular hours to move through products stored in the cooler. Second, shop at the farmers markets. We were not the only farm hit and local producers rely on community support to continue growing. Third, buy a Folks Farm hat. We sell these online and at our other venues. Finally, subscribe to the blog. Even a small gift amount goes a long way to perpetuate the writing, purchase groceries, and boost morale.
Our path forward is not totally clear but I know our community will rally behind us and the farm. This is simply a bump in the road of a much larger journey, a necessary event that will make us stronger, more capable people and growers.
This Friday from 10-12 our lovely farm mama and wildcrafting extraordinaire will be hosting a botanical dye class. This will be a hands on, in the field, experiential class hosted on the farm. Follow the link below for more info.
Farm Store Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10-6, Saturday and Sunday 10-4
What is stocked in the Farm Store?
Greens- Kale, head lettuce, radicchio
Roots- Red beets, yellow and red onions, purple dragon carrots, summer leeks, garlic
Fruits- Cantaloupe melons, sweet corn, cherry and heirloom tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, organic plums, peaches, green beans, tomatillos, shishito peppers,
Local Products- KREAM Kimchi, Bread Chic Sourdough, Fox Den Coffee, Siante Coffee, Bee Squared Honey (from the farm), Jodar Eggs, Garden of Oz Dog Treats