We came to the Winooski Intervale Valley for its lush soil and proximity to Burlington. Sure, it's a floodplain, but friends who had farmed there for years assured us that the soils were rich and the floods were rare. We were excited.
In 2010, our first season with 2 acres in production, our pasture flooded in November. In 2011, following the heaviest snowfall on record and the wettest Spring on record, Lake Champlain covered our farm from mid April until mid-June. We plowed on, growing six acres, until Tropical Storm Irene flooded us with nearly seven feet of water on August 29.
But hey, 2012 was great! One of the best seasons I've ever seen, and our 12 acres of veggies yielded amazing crops to complement our pasture raised pork and eggs, grass fed beef, and lamb. We thought the worst was behind us. Maybe we could stay?
Then 2013. The farm experienced mild but persistent flooding in May, June, and the grand finale on July 5. This year alone we lost an acre and a half of potatoes, a half acre of Spring carrots, an acre of Spring broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, an acre of tomatoes, and two acres of winter squash. We cannot survive another season in this new climate. Climate change has brought massive rainstorms, thick snowpacks, and a river with wanderlust. We need to move out of its way.
Salvation! We've found 20 acres of prime agricultural soils in the high meadows of lovely Plainfield, VT! Best of all, they are well drained sandy loams! Now we need to move there. After another hard season, we need upwards of $25,000 to:
- drill a well (approximately $8,000)
- dig an irrigation pond (approximately $8,000)
- build an equipment shed and vegetable storage (approximately $6,000)
-move our essential equipment, infrastructure, and livestock (approximately $3,500)
We've set our goal at $25,000, but we need every cent we can raise. Climate change is going to affect us all, but we can prove resilient. Save our farms! Save THIS farm!
and, hey- thank you.
Risks and challenges
Between the two of us, we have over twenty years of farming experience. We've farmed through hell and high water, through the economic recession and through personal crisis, and we'll farm through climate change.
Moving a farm is complicated business. We've been working with a business planner to create a detailed timeline and economic projection. If at any point during the move we are not keeping with our financial deadlines, we have alternative credit lines available. Our mortgage is already lined up and we have been preapproved for an additional loan to cover our moving costs, in case the kickstarter does not succeed. We are hoping to raise a large portion of the costs through kickstarter, so our farm can emerge from the move as resilient as ever.
Perhaps the greatest risk we face in moving the farm is that our current farm will flood while we are moving to our new land. We have been adjusting our farm around climate change for the past four seasons. Each flood is slightly different, but we're confident that we have the skills and experience to make it through one more season on the floodplain, as long as we know it's the last one.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)