On Thursday of last week, we were thrown quite the surprise. I’ll just make it easy and show you a photo of what we woke up to Thursday morning.
The heavy and fast four inches of rain was too much for our creek to handle. Most of the year, our creek (part of the little blue) is either extremely low or dry, but on Thursday it could not handle the capacity. In my time growing up at 26th Street, I’ve only seen the property flood twice, but never to this capacity. For those who came out and toured our place, you can probably remember the lay out. To the West, the property dips lower along the creek and we refer to that area as the “flood plain”. We only plant summer crops there in the chance that a flood does happen, because it has only ever happened in the Spring. This area was in about three or four feet of standing water for about eight hours. We had just harvested our winter squash the day before, but this field also had our sweet potatoes. The ground is still so saturated that we haven’t even be able to get in and see how the sweet potatoes look. The east end of our property is higher, and has never flooded before, until now. More than half of the upper field was sitting in about 1-3 feet of water depending on how close to the creek. All of our fall crops that we have been anticipating giving in shares for the last few boxes are in the photo above. Lettuce, salad mix, mesclun greens, radishes, turnips, chard, kale, beets, beans, arugula…and more. Will and I were so concerned about wondering if things would actually survive that the food safety thought didn’t even cross our mind at the time. The water areas upstream from our farm could include possible farm run off and potential harmful human pathogens, and we do not feel comfortable putting our members at risk by serving them produce from flooded areas. In total, around 65% of our farm was flooded.
This was a huge loss for the farm, and especially for our CSA. We had worked so hard to produce these fall crops, and to see this happen is heartbreaking. Believe it or not the fields look absolutely beautiful now—most things survived (somehow, after being in water for eight hours), but we can not put you and your families at risk. Beyond the CSA, this is also a loss to our farm by not being able to sell any of the surplus.
So, I bet you are wondering about tomorrow’s box, and the one after. We are going to pull any remaining food out of the summer gardens (maybe some eggplant, maybe some peppers), parsley, potatoes, carrots, leeks, and our butternut squash for tomorrow’s box. The next week, more leeks, celery, carrots, maybe potatoes, some winter squash, and some other surprise produce that our Lincoln friends have shared with our farm to help us out…(including gorgeous fall broccoli!) So, don’t give up on us yet. We will be ready to see you tomorrow from 4-6.
This really makes the model of CSA hit home for us—why we ask you to commit to supporting our farm for the season, because you are always vulnerable in this business. Thank you, thank you, for joining our CSA and supporting a local farm.
We hope to see you tomorrow, those butternuts are gorgeous!
Hannah and Will