October 26, 2021

Atmospheric River

Atmospheric River

From the Fields - Thaddeus

Next to our farm there is a creek bed that winds out of the hills. Its banks show off the roots of oak trees and its deep spots untuck channels of gravel. It is clear that water has flown down it in times past. Appropriately named “Dry Creek,” it has contained little more than a puddle for the last eighteen months.

Big rain this early in the winter season is very rare, but the speculation of the atmospheric river that was scheduled to pummel us was too good to resist. With awe, some farmers predicted the storm would deliver three, four, even five inches of water! I chuckled to myself, admiring the imagination of these folks. For context, during the peak heat of the season our crops use two inches of water, and if there were a bet to be made, I would have put my vegetables on two inches or less of rainwater.
As my rain gauge passed the four-inch mark I was impressed, and the storm still had twelve hours left in it! An old timer texted me and I was struck by the fact that I received a text from him. The text itself showed his wisdom, “That creek will start to run after four inches.” I walked down into the creek and then walked up it. There were trickles of water beginning to flow into it from the fields and hills that had quenched their year-long thirst and could absorb no more moisture. Within a few hours, the creek was flowing with a force of water that I warned the kids would drown them if they fell in. 

It was at that time when I realized this storm was really going to wreak some havoc. Roads started to flood. All the creeks swelled up, approaching their capacity. Irrigation pumps that were not removed became entangled with debris. Roads that connect our farm to the warehouse were closed. People not paying attention drove their vehicles off the pavement, into mud, where they are still stuck. In the morning, with the storm now passed, the blue skies and sunshine made it hard to believe what had just happened. Under these warm clear skies, with the backdrop of a flooded field, my rain gauge read six and one-half inches – all received in less than twenty four hours!
As you can imagine, our operations are responding to this weather event. Please be patient as we make some adjustments to our scheduling, and know that it will take a lot more that this for us to stop preparing and delivering your Farm Fresh To You boxes!