From the Fields: Epic Ice
This post written by our resident Farm Steward – Emily Thomson
A complex set of conditions turned our lovely snow dream into an epic ice storm, the likes of which haven’t been seen in these parts in nearly twenty years. It took all of us, including weather forecasters, by surprise, as precipitation which had been headed for Oregon swept northward in the form of rain, which immediately froze on top of already heavy snow. At first it was pretty, but soon the weight of the ice and snow caused thousands of huge trees to snap and come crashing down on power lines across the region, knocking out electricity, closing roads and making even a stroll in the woods a dangerous proposition. Amid the havoc of broken trunks and branches, smaller conifers seemed stoic and unfazed, looking like ancient forest wizards.
Despite difficult conditions at the farm in Carnation, there were no catastrophes. Shaun kept the greenhouses from collapsing using an improvised tool to break the ice from the inside. When the power went down, a generator was rigged to the well house to keep the pump going. Shaun promptly plugged his coffeemaker in, saying that he doesn’t function more than 20 feet from an operational coffeepot. And while everyone else stayed home, our packing shed crew braved the roads and managed to get five tons of potatoes and carrots washed without the benefit of electricity. Hats off to them! We’re just now getting back to normal.
Now that the snow is melting, our eyes will be on the river gauges over the next week. There is nothing planted in the low lying fields this winter; we learned that lesson the hard way last year. After carefully planting many acres in lower Griffin, we lost it all to the river – and then had to spend further time and money retrieving the plastic and metal hoops from the woods. Nowadays when the river rises, we just need to know if the highway will close.