July had less than an inch of rain, thus far in August we are over 14 inches in Johnson Creek, with parts to the West of us in Wisconsin getting hit hard. We spent much of the week reading account after account of the devastation-focusing in especially on our local Organic Farmers which after overcoming the odds by eking out an existence as Sustainable Farmers were being blasted by the whims of fate and possibly the far reach of Global Warming.
Our preferred source for veggies that we don’t grow is Harmony Vally Farm, a large organic farm NW of Madison in the heart of the “organic valley” of the Kickapoo River made famous by Organic Valley Dairy. Harmony valley took 12 inches last weekend, to make 17 inches in one week. Losses are expected to exceed $300,000 dollars in gross sales. Far more disconcerting is the state of the fields as the floods recede-the topsoil is gone and a gravel sludge now resides in its place. Back to that $300k number-this isn’t agribusiness-I have met the farmer and his stand is full of 20 to 30 somethings that he is teaching to farm sustainably, and also paying fairly for their labor. Luckily half of his farm is above the floods, so the damage is not total. When we stopped out today to buy onions and brassicas (gone due to flooding) we gave the clerk 2 twenties for the $18 bill. When he tried to hand one back-we told him we had read about the floods and that having them at the market every week was very important to us-enough that $2/ea for onions seemed pretty darn fair to us.
Here at the Beo suburban farm, the tomato crop was set back by 3 weeks as tomatoes split so fast it was almost comical-at least Mia was able to put up 9 pints of sauce last week before the deluge. The melons are a little watery, and the corn has all fallen over. But the new rock walls around the garden beds have held firm so the fall crops of lettuce, beets, and carrots are coming in strong-if one braves the mosquito swarms to check on them.
Started pricing garlic bulbs and potato “seeds” today in preparation for the Business Plan on the Prairie Dock acreage. Not sure if I have a market for 3000lbs of heirloom potatoes, but am willing to look! The Insight’s payload capacity is 250lbs….