I know nothing about real evacuation. I cannot fathom what it feels like to be vacated from your home in the middle of the night with the threat of aftershocks splitting open your bedroom floor, or mother nature’s most powerful liquid force carrying your family’s house away like a bottle in the sea. Or fleeing from the threat of radiation.
All these things that our brothers and sisters are going through in Japan are so terrifyingly real. They remind us that our situation here – our frustrations and inconvenience with a flooded farm and home – are blessings compared to real disaster.
Our evacuation last week was merely a measure of precaution. Wassaic sits below an earthen dam that holds 5 acres of water, water that flooded the dam 50 years ago and swept this little hamlet away killing 30 townsfolk. So, to avoid a repeat of that, the chief of police came ’round to evacuate us. Our landlord let us stay with him in the next town, and we spent the week camping out between neighbors’ houses. And looking pitifully at the entire farm sitting under 3 ft of water.
This is farming. Nature could give two shits about your schedule. It’s mid-March, we were supposed to start seeds last week, but everything’s under water. That’s the way it goes. We’re lucky nothing was already planted. That’s the kind of risk farmers take. We could have had a full field and our whole crop, our whole season would have been wiped out; just like that. It happens all the time to farmers around the world: flood, drought, blight, frost, disease, pest infestation. Every plot tilled, every seed sown, is a gamble.
Japan reminds us, there’s only one force on this Earth in charge.
But, we have to be thankful for such minimal damage. We took advantage of the indoor time all week and finished our succession planting schedule (when to plant what), organized all of our seeds (108 varieties!) and organized for our CSA meetings and farm workdays.
Yesterday we were able to move back into our farmhouse and today we were able to borrow space in a neighbor’s greenhouse to start some of the more urgent seeds ( leeks, parsley take a looong time).
We’ll get back on track in no time. It’s not us I’m worried about.
The real question is, will we as a global community get back on the right track, and take note of the power of the Earth as we move forward.