This Saturday at the Iowa City Farmers’ Market, we will have eggs, stew hens, chicken feet, a bit of spinach, onions and leeks. We are anxious for all the other things we will have to offer in the next two weeks.
What a crazy week! As I was writing you last week, I was waiting for Eric to get back in the house as the lightening picked up. Due to the incoming weather, Eric did not move the broilers to the field. He quickly made it back to the house. It was one of those nights that we sat with all the lights off, watching the weather. For those of you who have not visited Salt Fork Farms, we live on Sutliff Rd. Our acreage is on top of a slight ridge. It’s not noticeable, until the wind picks up. Many nights, Eric and I have sat quietly waiting until the storm has passed, only to say, “let’s go check to make sure the greenhouse is still there.” Last year, on the day of Milo’s first birthday party, we had a storm roll in about two hours before everyone was to be at our house. We spent the morning in the basement, trying to call family members to tell them not to come, unable to reach them as our trusty phone service was failing. After the storm, we went outside, finding our full size flag pole in the neighbors yard. We keep the remainder of that flag pole-with the flag still on it- in our barn. Always the reminder of the crazy Iowa weather. Oh, and Milo’s party? Everyone made it. Everyone was sweet and kind as we sang Happy Birthday, waiting for the power to come back on.
So, back to last Thursday. Eric and I sat in the dark. Watching the wind blow everything around, listening to the greenhouse give and take in the downpour. Suddenly Eric turned and said, “get Milo up and go downstairs.” In a panic I just looked at him. The wind really picked up as Eric ran into Milo’s room, got him up and headed to the basement. After 30 minutes of Milo saying, “it’s the 5 o’clock whistle, Mama,” we were able to head back upstairs. Eric quickly went outside to check on the greenhouse. The greenhouse sustained no damage. Unfortunately, a good portion of the greens and transplants that were in the field took a big hit. And so did our roof. Thankfully, the roofer will be out on Saturday.
Saturday was the first Iowa City Farmers’ Market. Tuesday, Eric had irrigation lines run from the house to the back field. Wednesday, our fruit order of 50 blueberry bushes, 25 raspberry bushes, 1000 strawberry crowns, rhubard, horseradish and asparagus arrived, earlier than we planned. We also moved the broilers out to the field on Thursday night. Today we got a surprise call that 80 turkeys were at the Cedar Rapids Post Office. We were expecting them on Friday. Eric quickly went and turned on the brooder and headed to the feed mill to get the turkey feed he had ordered. We packed Milo up and headed into the post office to pick up our new baby turkeys. I ended up taking the day off to help Eric settle the birds and plant all the fruit that had arrived. As we drove back from the post office, Eric got a call from our friend J. He was calling to tell us he wanted to come out and volunteer today. Eric then got a text from our friend Katie. She too would be out to volunteer today. We pulled into the drive, turkeys chirping away, to find Annie, one of our two employees working away. We also were surprised to see our friend Kristen. She had made the trip out to spend some of her free time working with us.
Through out the day, J. and Eric put together the rest of the irrigation. Kristen, Annie, Katie and I worked on getting all the new fruit in the ground. Early in the afternoon, our other employee, Justin, arrived. I found myself a bit choked up at the kindness of so many we know in the Iowa City community. While it might not be unusual to find one volunteer out at Salt Fork Farms, it was great to have so many people helping us today. We could not have planted as much as we did today without the generosity of these folks.
Enjoy your weekend!