Mid-day on January 19th, Floras Creek topped its banks and flooded the farm. The high water completely inundated all of our perennials - artichokes, asparagus, raspberries, strawberries, dahlias, grapes, marionberries, and the orchard - plus a good bit of our annual cropland. U-pick would have been possible only by canoe. Our equipment shed flooded, but we had moved most of our valuables out of it in anticipation of high water. Fortunately, the flooding lasted only a half day, so we are crossing our fingers that some of our more water sensitive plants like raspberries did not drown altogether. We won't know until spring.
The last time the farm went under was in the high water event of 1996, when the field was still just pasture. We've been waiting with a mix of curiosity and anxiety for a flood event like this - unsure of how our cropland would fare. We have not yet assessed the full extent of the damage, but we are hoping that the deposition of some lovely new topsoil will make up for any setbacks. Our fall-planted strawberry field is sure to be a mess of drip tape and weedmat, but hopefully nothing that a few days work can't repair. The flood made us ever-more grateful for the trees we planted 20+ years ago along the bank. They not only helped stabilize the riparian zone, they also kept large debris from crashing through our fenceline and into the field. At least this time.
Ah, farming - never a dull moment...