I hardly know where to start. Thus far our farm has endured fire, flood and pestilence. Monday night we were hit with a deluge of water that covered our entire farm. (Photograph on previous page was taken by Vahe D’Alaverdian at midnight with time-elapsed equipment gathering light from the full moon. Thank you Becca and Vahe for the incredible pictures!)
At about 7 pm Monday night we were down in the river breaking down fences and moving animals after the big rain storm “just in case” we might flood. Just as we were finishing we could hear the water coming. (I am so grateful to Monte’s intuition!) We literally ran out of the river and starting moving essential farm equipment.
By the time we got our tractor up to high ground the river had crested and water was pouring over the farm. We had previously moved all livestock to the upper pasture by our barn. They were standing in water before we could get to them. Family and friends starting showing up. All joined in the effort to get the livestock to high ground. The goats and sheep were not happy! I was worried about the pigs, they have such short little legs. We got the goats moved and I wondered how in the heck we were going to get the pigs rounded up. You don’t just throw a rope around their neck. We finally got them out and safe. We headed back into the water to get the sheep who were huddled in the far corner only to find the pigs swimming back behind us. They were loving life! Did you know that pigs can swim?
The sheep were not so easy to be moved. They were frightened! I wish I had a picture of our son Brad carrying little “Dot,” our youngest lamb, in his arms wading nearly waist deep through the raging flood waters. A picture in my mind I shall never forget.
As the animals were being moved, Monte began scooping up our beautiful watermelons as they were literally floating by, guiding a lamb in one hand and hoisting melons in the other. Oh what a sight! Oh, what a night!
So many stories to be told of that night. Exhausted, we finally crawled in bed to catch a couple hours sleep, nothing more to be done. At first light Monte was up to check on the damage. Mud, muck and debris just covers the farm. Most of the crops have been damaged. All the livestock are safe!
Throughout the valley, while there has been much damage, no one has been hurt. We feel incredibly blessed!
Within the first hours of the day, people started showing up. It was the most miraculous thing. I don’t know how the word got out, but throughout the day they just kept coming. Friends, neighbors, church members, strangers, men, women and children. Then the food started coming. No one organized this, it just came together. It’s hard to think of it now without being very emotional. By the end of the day we estimate well over 100 people came to help out that first day. It was amazing what got done in all that muck!
Despite the devastation we will rebuild and rebound! The cleanup has already begun. What we thought would take months of work is getting done by so many volunteers. What we thought would take weeks to dry out before we could replant is drying out in spite of the heavy clay left by the flood. Monte was able to till 4 rows today in the high tunnel! Miracles are happening in the most marvelous ways!!! Thank you to all who have called, left messages on text and Facebook and who have been including us in your prayers. We feel it!!
Thanks to you and your support of our CSA, we will carry on! Despite the damage, we will replant and work with other local farmers to keep supplying you with pure, wholesome food through the next season!
I love this picture! There within the heavy clay silt and debris that covers the farm, a squash blossom had opened in perfect splendor! Squash blossoms are tender and fragile. This had to have opened after the flood, a sign to me of victory, of new life and a message to overcome the challenges, that there is order and beauty after chaos. It is strange that as discouraging as this can be, Monte and I have never had a feeling of despair. We know this work is too important and that we will overcome!!
Thanks for letting us be your personal farmers! Monte & Laura Bledsoe
If you are concerned about providing, supporting and obtaining, pure, wholesome food from small, local farmers. If you are conscious about organic, sustainable foods and wanting to preserve the earth, water and soil by sustainable and responsible farming. If you want to join and support the battle to keep our small family farmers on the farm. If ever a farmer needed your support, it is NOW!!