The on-the-spot television reporter was interviewing a group of homeowners furious with county officials (from which county, I don’t know, as we tuned in to the story a little late) for their reluctance to improve the only road that provides these people access out of the housing development. The road intersects a creek, you see, and in order to drive over the creek they must traverse a low water crossing – which, like all low water crossings, becomes impassable when the creek rises.

The Angry Homeowners complained that every time the creek overflows the crossing, they become “trapped in their homes” and are unable to get to work. To illustrate how high the creek had risen when it last rained, the television reporter pointed to a structure running parallel with the low water crossing and declared, “You can see that the water rose almost to the bottom of this bridge!”

Um…bridge? Farmer John and I looked at each other, then back at the television.

It was a bridge, all right. A footbridge. Granted, the homeowners couldn’t drive their cars on it, but I imagine they could walk. That’s the primary function of a footbridge, if I’m not mistaken. And speaking from years of experience living with the prospect of being “trapped” at home by a flooded creek, I’d think people with a footbridge available to them might park their cars on the opposite side the day before a forecasted rain event. The following morning, then, they’d need simply take a little stroll to where their vehicles awaited them.

Maybe the idea of walking a few blocks is off-putting to these people, or perhaps there are giant man-eating trolls living under that bridge. I don’t know the entire story. I do know, however, that there are days I’d almost be willing to chop off my pinkie toes, if that’s what it would take to suddenly have a bridge over our creek.

After all the rain in September and October (over 25 inches at the farm), this low water crossing thing is getting old. The ground is so saturated, there’s always at least some water rushing over it – often too much for a car to cross. Farmer John is able to pick up Dana, Mary and Davy on the other side of the creek with the big farm truck when the crossing looks like this:

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Yet when it looks like this,

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we’re “trapped” at home, for sure.

I can think of worse places to be trapped, like in the audience of a lecture series on quantum physics, for example, or at a baby shower for the Octomom. But being stuck at home isn’t really a problem for us personally. What makes things difficult, is that we can’t get Dana, Mary and Davy here to help with the farm work.

Despite the rain – and because of the rain – there are so many things that need to be done on the farm. Harvest is problem enough when dealing with inclement weather.

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Still, harvest is a priority, since we want to bring as much to the farm stands as we possibly can. We concentrate on that first and foremost. When we’re shorthanded due to the flooded low water crossing, though, we fall behind on so many other important chores. Consequently, out of desperation, and with the assistance of our neighbors, we’ve devised an alternate route to the farm.

This is where our neighbors live.

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On this hill. At the very top. The next time the low water crossing is impassable even for the farm truck, Dana, Mary and Davy will drive up there and park their cars at our neighbors’ house. Farmer John will hike up the hill to meet them, and they’ll all descend to the farm together. On foot.

Somehow, I don’t think the Angry Homeowners would consider this option.

***The weather sure is beautiful now! We’re looking forward to a full week of sunshine. We’re looking forward to bringing you lots of goodies on Wednesday too! Here’s what we’re planning to have for you at the farm stand:

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Lots of Gypsy broccoli; head lettuces (green and red leaf, romaine and butterhead); “ugly” butternut squash (these are a bit scarred from sitting on wet ground back in September, but they’re just as delicious as the perfect ones!); arugula; bunches of chard; bunches of Asian greens; bunches of Brussels greens (great for stir-fry, or steam whole leaves to use as wraps); a kale/collards mix; bunches of kohlrabi; bell peppers; Cubanelle peppers; purple eggplant, heirloom Rosa Bianca eggplant, and white Japanese eggplant; lettuce mix; Provencal lettuce/chicory salad mix; pink and purple radishes; bunches of sorrel; dandelion greens; and some of this and that.

Thanks!
Jo Dwyer
Angel Valley Organic Farm
http://www.angelvalleyfarms.com
Farm stands:
In Jonestown on FM1431 at the blinking yellow light, Saturdays beginning at 10 a.m.;
In NW Austin on Jollyville Road between Oak Knoll and Duval (at the Asian American Cultural Center), Wednesdays beginning at 10 a.m.

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