When I made the decision not to go to the Intervale and farm this year I admit I was hoping for a 12 or 13 foot flood right about now. That would have left about half or more of my land under water - which isn't good news on April 15th. Everyone in Vermont is getting a late start, AND I know there is a lot of clay soil and that's going to take some time to dry. I would not be able to work the field for approx 2 weeks, assuming decent weather, not even able to drive in for about that much time or longer which would have meant many extra hours carrying trays 1/4 mile and shoes that fall apart. So, that could have happened and I would feel like, "there, i made the right decision." Had it not happened I would have still been ok with the decision and am happy about it for various reasons i won't go into now. But that isn't what's going on, this is what's going on
This is what is going on. A flood of this magnitude is likely to hit all or some of the fields of my friends and collegues still in the Intervale and that sucks. The water will be gone quick and not as heavy or as long as it will be on the soil i was using, but still not pretty. No one probably had anything in, so in that way it's far from the worst, and given last years flood, which was much later, and reports from Digger's and Half Pint that they still ended up with pretty good seasons due to a nice fall, maybe it is not a big deal. But that still sweeps under the rug one issue which nags me: the FDA regs would say not to plant anything in that land maybe for as much as 120 days, maybe 30. Those are big numbers in a Vermont season, no matter which it is or if it falls inbetween.
It strikes me as a bit hypocritical not to vocally say, "The FDA doesn't know what it is doing w/r/t food safety & these floods. Their pre-occupation with it is way out of purpotion to their lack of pre-occupation with prescription drugs, alchohol, you name the hundred issues they stick their head in the sand for."
Instead I think the intervale center and NOFA as well have their hands tied behind their backs, and may end up sacrificing these farmers as well, maybe for some logic like, "as long as we get most of what we want for organic ag . . " more and more it doesn't seem like they are getting that either (see regs coming down the pike). They are basically NGOs as we in peace corp would say. They may not be the gov, but they aren't in much of a position to do anything but nod to whatever they say. Grants and business certifying land ain't nothing.
Yes, this qualifies as one of my favorite rants, and it's just something I know about from my work farming, but it might be viewed as symptomatic of a larger problem (prbably in the ecosystem of the internet as well).
WEll, good luck to all vermont farmers this year, and may the rest of the year be uneventful (at least weather events) and productive and may I eat your bounty tout de sweet.