A Vermont farmer faces the aftermath of massive flooding
"It's all gone." That's what one Vermont farmer said about his 30-acre vegetable farm in Burlington, following the worst flooding the state has seen since the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in 2011.
Who is he?
What's the big deal?
What are people saying? NPR's Adrian Florido spoke with him about what the farm is facing.
On preparing for the storm to come in:
By Sunday, it was pretty apparent that something major was happening, though we still had no sense of the scale. And then Monday, we kept going. And the hydrographs we were looking at were showing something we've never seen since Tropical Storm Irene 12 years ago. And so we got going. We started putting out some calls for volunteers on social media. And by late afternoon, I don't know, 40, 50 people at the farm helping bunch radishes and scallions. And we farm in a floodplain right next to one of the larger rivers in the state. And we farm right at the tail end of that river. So all the rain falling in central Vermont ends up running next to our field, which by Tuesday morning – that field was just just part of the river. And I've never seen it like that.
On the financial state of the farm:
We incur a lot of debt in the spring. It's an investment that we know will pay off come September and October. That return on investment probably will not happen this year, but the debts remain. So when we can, when the fields dry out enough, we'll continue to plant quicker-growing crops. I think salad greens, you know, bunching herbs, radishes, things like that, you know, arugula that can be seated and harvested within 21 days, radishes, 28 days, something like that. So we'll continue to go with things like that. But that's primarily to keep our crew afloat and to pay down debt. But as far as the rest of it, I'm not sure.
So, what now?
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