Between Tropical Storm Isaias and a good few absences among the crew, it was quite a week at the farm!
The farm’s power went out on Tuesday night and came back on Thursday around lunchtime – a thirty-nine hour period that, Julie says, “felt like three weeks”. Dave sprang into action to revive the generator bought in the wake of the 2008 ice storm (and not used since) to power the freezers and the walk-in cooler, which was immensely helpful. The biggest challenge was losing water, which meant that the crew was unable to wash produce, catch a cooling drink from the hose in the field, or do much in the way of transplanting. It was also necessary to haul many, many buckets of water from the pond to keep the five hundred birds and six pigs in drinking water. A big Many Hands thank you goes out to working shareholder Morgan, who brought in thirty gallons of spring water for some veggie washing and personal refreshment on Wednesday, to Clare who brought in more bottled water on Thursday, and to new WWOOFer Andres, a key player in the pond water-hauling effort. After the storm, Julie reflected that the experience “reminded me of how easy life is for us generally, as opposed to folks, especially farmers, in the old days – and how hard they had to work to get water, and all that was involved in cooling and transporting fresh produce. It was a good reminder about the conveniences we have in life”. The return of the power was met with much rejoicing.
Out in the fields, the storm broke a few peach trees and wreaked havoc on a number of crops – the basil went downhill towards the end of the week, as did the cukes and squash, and the green beans are also suffering from multiple concerns. Unfortunately, the farm wasn’t sufficiently staffed to do nutritional sprays this week, which would have been quite helpful to their recovery.
In staff news, we had two folks down with poison ivy this week, one out sick mid-week, and one called home to a family funeral later in the week. Jerod, who has been volunteering Tuesday – Thursday each week, has decided to move on, and Isaac has downgraded from WWOOFer status to that of a weekly working shareholder – and so we’re updating our WWOOF profile and putting out the call for fresh help. Departures are balanced by arrivals – Julie was happy to welcome students and staff from the Stetson School back to the farm recently. While the comings and goings – heightened this year by the coronavirus – continue to be challenging, Julie says “I am glad that we have developed these layers of resiliency over time with many types of help – WWOOFers, staff, volunteers, the Stetson School” – to hold the work of the farm.