The past few weeks I have spent in a state of gratefulness and humility.  All around us we are seeing pictures of farms and homes throughout the region flooded and devastated.  Roads and bridges are gone and how long it will take to clean up is still to be seen.  I feel like I am in a very isolated bubble, a few miles from here, roads are washed out, buildings floated into the street and lives were lost.  But here at Groundworks Farm, it just looks like we have had a lot of rain.  There was no flooding in our fields and thanks to a great effort on Saturday and help from family and friends, nothing even blew away in the tropical storm that hit this area very hard.   
The day of the hurricane was spent preserving food in the house, checking on storm statuses and speculating what kind of damage might take place.  With all the hype about the storm I kept expecting something highly dramatic to happen.  I mostly expected to see damage as a result of wind as we experience quite strong winds on the farm in the wintertime.  Based on the lesson we learned earlier in the season, we were sure to stake down the laying hen house.  The storm was proving to be pretty disappointing in its dramatics, which was fine with me.  We didn’t even manage to loose power.  Kevin was out early tending to the animals before the wind and rain picked up and it seemed all there was to do was wait things out, which in our world meant making lots of pickles. 

We were in the kitchen filling canning jars when Kevin got a call on his phone.  “The pigs are out Kevin, did you know that?”  I overheard and dropped what I was doing and began to pull on my boots and rain gear, next a knock on the door, it was the town fire truck.  “Do you know you got some pigs running around?”  My parents were here visiting and my dad turned to me and said “You need some help with something?”  Kevin, my Dad and I all rushed out to the truck and drove down the road to see two of our wonderful neighbors, out in their rain gear in the brutal storm chasing after at least 20 pigs.  The pigs saw the truck driving toward them and I can only imagine that they thought two things.  1) Oh! Look there’s the truck that brings us food! Let’s follow it! and 2) Oh No!  They know we got out! Maybe we should go back home.  I was riding in the back of the truck armed with a large bucket of eggs.  One thing we have come to learn is that pigs absolutely go crazy over eggs and so if we ever need to get them to do something a bucket full of eggs is a valuable asset to have on hand.  Throwing eggs their way we drove into the woods and away from the fields.  The pigs thankfully followed.  Kevin drove the truck through the woods and into their fenced area which they had knocked down.  The pigs followed and with a little more herding we were able to get them back where they were supposed to be.  It turns out their food had gotten wet and they had gotten bored and decided to go see what else was happening around the farm.  Gratefully neither they, nor the storm managed to do any real damage to the farm.  I feel very grateful that this was the extent of our run in with the storm.  And now the farm is looking sunny and untouched by the extreme weather.      

Not all farms in our area have had such luck.  The Vermont Community Foundation is contributing funds for farm disaster relief to farmers effected by Hurricane Irene.  One farm in particular which has been hard hit is Evening Song Farm.  There are ways to donate to them specifically.


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