Journal Post for the week of August 29, 2011

VOLUME VI, JOURNAL XI

AUGUST 29, 2011

BLUE HERON FARM JOURNAL

SO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE FARM THIS WEEK?

Week 11-As the rain picked up, things seemed to go in fast forward, our bodies moved quicker, our language moved quicker, our daughters knew they needed to listen and follow without question. On Sunday, after church the rain came down harder and harder and we still needed to get food out to the chickens and water the sheep in the barn and get the last two sheep in from the field – 21 in all. Sheep in the back of the minivan – rain pouring down – raincoat not working – why wear it – we are near our home, we will be dry soon. Sheep out of the minivan – now to get them all water – make sure the cows have plenty of hay and water inside the barn – more rain the wind is picking up – the girls go inside the house with their auntie – Adam is putting the last boards on the hoophouses to tie down the sides – did you know that insurance companies do not insure hoophouses because they are seen as not permanent buildings – even their worth is over 25K combined. Adam is in the rubber rain gear on the tractor – he looks like those fruit slice candies orange and bright yellow – he is putting the tractor’s bucket up against the wall of one of our hoophouses. The wind is picking up – need to get food out to the chickens – the chickens roof has sprung a leak – the worse smell in the world is wet chicken – they were outside getting soaked and getting a little airborne. Adam t-boned their trailers together so they could support themselves in the tropical storm. Put buckets in the chicken trailers so the water can collect – jack the chicken trailer up more so the flat roof can stop collecting as much water. Gather the eggs – because chickens don’t care if there is a storm outside – just like babies being born – they just come when they come – usually during or after a storm. Soaked down to our underwear – is it water, is it sweat? Go back to the barn to make sure everyone is okay – enough hay, enough water. Head inside and strip down in the doorway – heavy wet cotton right into the bathtub to drain a little before getting into the washer. And now we sit and wait – wait for this horrid storm to pass – watching the winds whip the trees and the corn around. Our livelihood on the line.

Just yesterday, the sky was blue, it was eerily calm, the air smelled different, the air felt different, the air moved around the farm differently – maybe looking for where it was all going to go when all the winds start to howl and blow. The day before the storm, friends and CSA members came and helped pick and pack all the veggies and fruit we could – we had no idea what was going to happen, tighten things down, put things in the barn, take down the intern housing – all in fast forward – praying as we did it – working into the night.

Monday morning we awoke – to sunny skies – air slightly chilly but smelled right – we walked the farm. Crossing our fingers and praying, Delia on my back and Sadie’s hand in mine in her mismatched pick rubber boots – hoping as we walked up the road our farm would be okay. As we got closer to the farmstand, I saw them – I saw the hoophouses – all 4 of them standing tall – two small rips – one Adam had to make – during the storm – because nearly 15 gallons of water had already collected in some sagging plastic that would have kept on collecting – he acted like a surgeon, realizing the pressure – the water would have collapsed our little pepper house – we walked the fields – looks like the zucchini and summer squash are done, corn was tousled a bit – lettuce mix looks a little shredded – melons don’t look good – we have some hail damage or wind damage on leaves of beans and tomatoes – the tomatoes are still standing and we should know in a few days if disease came in on the storm. Overall, we fared rather well – the ground took up most of the water – it was so very wet – but are soil was so very dry – not sure if it will make some hard crustiness around the farm where we just turned up soil.

Not sure, Not sure about alot of things accept that our family is healthy and okay, our little farm made it through, a little battered but no flooding – no structural damages (that we know of yet) – this mama farmer and papa farmer are exhausted from all the worrying, the stress, getting ready and getting everything undone and put back together from the storm. Who would have thought Vermont would get a hurricane (ahem tropical storm) When I see the posts of facebook or on the radio (thankful we do not own a tv since I would probably be glued to it and causing myself more stress) about the farmers in lower lying areas, the river bottom areas, I just want to be sick – this year has been such a hard year to grow anything – I just want to cry with the overwhelmingness of this business of growing food. Why does it have to be so hard? Here we are working on trying to secure our farm land – to secure our farm for the future – it has to get better there is nothing else to it – it has to get better. I am grateful that the fields are not underwater and I pray for rest of Vermont and Vermont farmers who were not as lucky as us.

In our last journal posting, I wrote about a farm being a living organism – we as the farmers help take care of the farm – the storms that rage over the farm – kind of like getting a really bad cold or flu or maybe pandemic (with this years weather) – but you have a part in this too – you are equally as important in all of this because during these storms this year – we knew you would be there for the farm – because this food that the farm produces feeds you and your family. With our CSA alone, we figure we are feeding nearly 200 people a week. Thanks for sticking with us – through sickness and in health – through storm and through sun shine, and reading through this journal post this week. I am feeling pretty overwhelmed, tired and emotional right now with all that is going on – the storm, the land purchasing, the weather and appreciate your support and love. There is a light at the end of the tunnel – and I think it might be shining right now through my window and onto this keyboard.

Have a great week! Thanks for listening and your support. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia and our Interns Ashlynn and Adora

PS We will keep you updated on how to help farms who have flooded, folks who have been affected by Irene through our facebook, blog and this Journal. Please give of your time, resources and financially if you can. Maybe we can organize some lovin’ from BHF..if anyone is interested in helping out to organize this with us, give us a call or email. 372-3420 or email harmonyvt@yahoo.com

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: HURRICAN BATTERED BASIL, GARLIC, Cucumbers, Pears, Melons, Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, Sungold Cherry Tomatoes , Heirloom TOMATOES, PYO Cherry tomatoes, PYO Ground Cherries, Cilantro, Hurricane battered Lettuce Mix and maybe a few other things from the mystery box(like melons, ground cherries, tomatillos)

EGGS FOR SALE

We have the pretty girls’ eggs for sale – these are free-range, certified organic chicken eggs that are brown, green and blue – with the brightest yellow/orange yolks you ever seen. The eggs are $5.00 a dozen.

Yarn for Sale

Yarn is available in our natural color “Island Oatmeal.” Worsted Weight, double twist, soft, 220 yds, 4 ounces, Greenspun (no petroleum products used in cleaning the wool) by Green Mountain Spinnery here in Vermont. Yarn is in the farmstand. 17.00 skein. Also available wool roving, white, brown, oatmeal – $9 for 4 ounces.

Ways to help fellow Vermonters affected by Hurricane Irene (there our live links on the highlighted words online)

Thanks to Seven Days for putting this together

http://7d.blogs.com/blurt/2011/08/after-irene-how-you-can-help-vermont.html

• Text FOODNOW to 52000 to donate $10 to Vermont Foodbank. The Foodbank will turn each donation into $60 for families in need.

• You can donate to the United Way’s Vermont Disaster Relief Fund online, or buy sending a donation to your local United Way. Just make sure your donation is marked for the “Vermont Disaster Relief Fund”.

• You can also donate to the American Red Cross of Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley. The Red Cross set up shelters immediately after Irene hit for flooded-out families to stay in.

• The VT Irene Flood Relief Fund is raising money to help people and communities affected by flooding. 100% of all donations will be distributed to businesses and families. The fund was set up by Todd K. Bailey and is being administed through the Vermont State Employees Credit Union.

• Vermont Baseball Tours has set up the 8/28 Fund to raise money. Donations of $20 or more get you a cool t-shirt.

• The MRV Community Fund has been reestablished to help Mad River Valley farmers who saw devastating crop losses due to the flooding.

• Independent Vermont Clothing is selling a special “I’m With VT” t-shirt. All profits from sales of the shirt will go to relief efforts.

• Across the lake, upstate New York got hit hard by Irene, too. Donations are being coordinated on the Irene Flood Drive Facebook page.

VOLUNTEERING

• VTResponse.com is working to connect volunteers ready to help with those that need assistance. If you want to help clean up and rebuild, let the folks behind this site know.

• Montpelier Alive is coordinating volunteer efforts in that city through their Facebook page.

• Volunteer and cleanup efforts are also being coordinated on Twitter via the #VTresponse hashtag.

• The Vermont Flooding 2011 page on Facebook is functioning as a community bulletin board of sorts.

• Vermont Helping Hands is also coordinating relief efforts via Facebook.

• The Red Cross is in desperate need of blood donations. Stop by their donation center at 32 North Prospect Street in Burlington, or the Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital Blood Donation Center at 125 Mascoma Street in Lebanon, NH.

OTHER INFO

• If you need assistance or information from the state, dial 211 or visit vt211.org.

• The Help Vermont Facebook group is another place to share recovery information.

• Sublet.com will provide free access for people who are displaced from their homes. Call their customer service line at 1-877-367-7368 1-877-367-7368 for more information.

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