Update following the flood

Update following the flood

As you already know, many areas of Vermont experienced catastrophic flooding this week including Maple Wind Farm. Our hearts go out to the communities that had town wide flooding and farmers who lost animals and crops.

Early on Monday we knew the weather was going to bring challenges that would require grand efforts from our Maple Wind farmers, but the scale was still uncertain. In anticipation of the flash flooding, our crew managed to evacuate birds from the lower portions of our pastures”

Our Tuesday morning started at daybreak, realizing the water level crested during the early morning hours, and that our turkeys, who were moved to the highest section of our pastures, were unexpectedly in danger. Unfortunately we were cut off from road closures to the East and West, and many of our staff could not get to work to help!

After a failed effort to get to the turkeys with a tractor and trailer for speedy removal, rescue efforts consisted of ferrying turkeys to safety in canoes. Sadly the water level rose so quickly that a majority of the flock perished. The small crew we had on hand continued tirelessly and divided efforts to both cut and pack the chicken from the previous day's harvest, while several folks waded through the waters of a road closure to get to our farm in Bolton to check on the animals there. Even though the broiler coops were placed on the highest ground, one house did not fare well and was surrounded by a foot of water and the birds inside perished. All of the other animals: cows, guard dogs, layer hens, and 2 brooders full of chicks were safe and sound!

The downfall of having 2 farms along the Winooski brought back the horrors of Tropical Storm Irene. We count our blessings that no one was hurt, our barns, home and other infrastructure were not in harm's way.

We forge on, clean up the messes, and farm another day. Thank you to everyone who reached out with kind words of support and offers to help. We love you all.

Ways to help: your continued support of our farm and buying local. Stop by our on-farm market, order online or come to the Burlington Farmers Market.

Other ways to help the larger community of Vermonters in need:

Consider a Donation. There are several different local funds you can donate to that are mobilizing resources to support farmers:

○ NOFA-VT’s Farmer Emergency Fund provides grants and 0% loans to certified organic and NOFA-VT member farms experiencing emergencies that can’t be covered by insurance. Donations you make to this Fund will be quickly mobilized to farms as they repair from the storm.

Intervale’s Farm Recovery Fund supports Intervale-based farms and programs. Learn more and select Intervale Recovery Fund’ from the options.

○ The Vermont Farm Fund is a program of the Center for an Agricultural Economy in partnership with Pete’s Greens that provides emergency loans to VT farmers and food producers.

With appreciation and hugs.

Beth, Bruce and the crew at MWF

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