With all this rain I got to thinking last night and did some googling. I came up with some gems that led us to back out of the farm offer. This image in particular from the King County Government Library had me shaking in my rain boots.
I would point out the property to you but it’s under water. Completely. And I can’t ask my family to live with that hanging over their heads. The real estate agent told us it was a once in 100 year flood but when my husband pulled the records he found that it happened not only in 2009 but in 2006 as well. So much for every 100 years.
So I’m admitting defeat on the farm and we are staying put. This means I can plant peas and add a few more trees (where I don’t know but I’m like that Italian grandmother that can always fit a few more plates at the table.) Staying here feels like the right decision but I may change my mind when I can’t get my kids into the same elementary school this fall.
So what does this mean for the community owned agriculture project you may ask? I’m not sure but I will continue to look for farmland. Just not farmland that we live on. If anyone has leads on 10 acres of non floodland less than 2 hours from Seattle for around $10K per acre, please send them my way.
In the meantime I plan to convert some of my garden over to more permaculture methods. I plan to scrap my rotational system altogether – that traditional system of gardening that lays out your plant families like a brightly colored quilt so pests can easily find their favorite crops and settle right in. I’m convinced in a small city garden crop rotation doesn’t really do much good unless you have a soil based pathogen destroying things. I plan now to disguise my plantings by peppering the most tender, delicious brassicas amongst bitter herbs and greens. Maybe I can throw pests off the trail. The challenge will be to continue to maximize output at the same time. You know what though? I miss the farmer’s market. It’s been two years since I’ve shopped there. I miss seeing friends and chatting with farmers.
You know what else I miss? Buying tortilla chips. What good is a pantry full of home canned salsa if you can’t make nachos anytime you want? And yes, I know I could fry up my own homemade tortillas but in a pinch I don’t. This year I’m backing off a bit. I want to add meat rabbits and change the garden around and get dairy goats and in order to fit that in and dial back my crazy I’m cutting myself some slack.
And now I’m off to dig out my envelopes of pea seeds. Because, gosh darn it, I’m staying here and I plan to celebrate that fact with peas. Now if it would only stop raining long enough for me to get them in the ground!