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Boistfort Valley Farm: Certified Organic Produce grown locally & delivered fresh! Boistfort Valley Farm: Certified Organic Produce Grown Locally & Delivered Fresh!

The Flood of December 2007

One Year Later: Flood Recovery Before and After


Boistfort Valley Flood 2007: Archive

April 8, 2008

Boistfort Valley Farm is still Certified Organic!

Read the WSDA Organic Letter, April 1, 2008.

March 27, 2008

Farm Clean-Up Days!

Dear Members,

First, a great big "Thank You!" to all of you who made it out to the farm for our last two Farm Field Days. They were a great success. This last Saturday we managed to save the strawberries from being either buried by mud or conversely stripped of dirt. It is a great feeling to be able to save plants. And we couldn't have done it without you!

Many of you still have not had a chance to come out, so we decided to schedule another event for you. There's still more to do!

So our next "Field Day" will be:

Saturday, April 12th
From 10 am - 3 pm
Lunch from farm veggies provided
Bring: gloves, mud boots, rain gear (if you have it), hand tools, change of clothes

We are considering continuing some sort of monthly or bimonthly farm day for members through the season, as this is clearly going to be a "recovery year," and we are wondering what your thoughts are on this possibility. Are there folks among you who would like to see this available? An opportunity to come and help out at the farm? Please let me know what your thoughts and ideas are regarding this so we can include them in our plans.

Thank you so much for your participation!



A sincere THANK YOU to everyone
who participated in, organized, donated to and attended the benefits in February!

Flood the Farm -- February 1st Concert and Raffle
for Boistfort Valley Farm at the Eastside Club
Olympia Flood Aid Benefit Concert -- February 15th and 16th
event for local farms damaged by December's flood

click for our Thank You list


Hannah's Reflections

January 31, 2008

It is day 60 since the great flood. Week nine. . . And we at the farm are still out here in it. Still cleaning mud off tools, veggie crates, farm supplies. Still excavating garbage cans and hoses and tables from the mud. Still picking our floating row covers, which hang like tattered flags, out of the bushes downstream. . . The job is far from finished, and a new season is upon us! So, the first planting of alliums will be germinated for us at Evergreen, and the rest will be in the greenhouses we just put up last spring. Which means in the next couple weeks we must re-gravel and level them, make new tables, buy and install new heating and venting systems, get a new seeder, soil, planting flats and seeds. . . And then start planting your vegetables! It is an exciting and daunting task, and one which we look forward to. . .


Mike's Flood Journal

December 31, 2007
Many wonderful volunteers helped to clean up the flood damage at Boistfort Valley Farm, December 2007

. . .Things get a little hazy from there on out. I remember raising the freezers on blocks until they touched the ceiling of the garage. I remember opening the greenhouse doors and the doors to the shop so that the water could flow through. I remember watching the level of the water rise using the printing on the Tyvek of the shop as a gauge. It was coming fast, so fast that we eventually cut the back stairs free from the house to allow the water to flow more freely through the breezeway.

The exercise went something like this: locate an item, assess its vulnerability to flood damage, assess its monetary and sentimental value, and act quickly and accordingly. I remember watching certain things float away: our wash tub, our fire wood. . .


Flood Update

December 26, 2007

Dear Members and Friends,

Greetings from the center of recovery at Boistfort Valley Farm!

We have rented a (dry) home further out the valley for the coming months of reconstruction. Our phone and internet service have been restored, so you may contact us directly with any questions.

If you would like to help, we are coordinating work crews at our farm. We anticipate general work and clean up will continue on the weekends -- please call if you would like to arrange a work crew during the week. Much of the mud hauling and washing has been completed; we are now beginning to rebuild and repair. If you have any skills and would like to contribute, please contact us! We will need help with carpentry, plumbing, electrical. . . just about everything.

For more information:
(360) 245-3796

We are also gratefully accepting donations to help us replace our lost farm equipment, supplies and inventory.

We anticipate a full recovery, and

We WILL offer a 2008 CSA Program as usual.

Our next order of business is preparing for spring. Our greenhouses need to be repaired and our heating system and benches replaced. We will begin ordering seeds, soil, seed flats and supplies in early January. As we start back to work, we really notice the things that are missing -- so many things that we accumulated over the years. It's like we're starting all over again.

We continue to be amazed by our community -- neighbors and friends who have spent their time and energy to help us and other valley residents. Our local volunteer headquarters, the Baw Faw Grange, has been filled with people, cleaning supplies and clothing, and hot food daily. 1% of donations we receive will go to the Boistfort Valley Community Foundation, a local non-profit founded to aid flood victims in our area.

Thank you to all of you who have donated money, time, supplies, energy, everything! We feel so blessed to be part of such a community of people.

Your farmers,
Heidi (& Mike) Peroni
Boistfort Valley Farm


The day after... Photo of flood damage at Boistfort Valley Farm, December 2007
...the day after...
The day after... Photo of flood damage at Boistfort Valley Farm, December 2007
Volunteers at the farm the Saturday after the flood. In the red coat is Hannah, our kick butt volunteer coordinator. Photo of flood damage at Boistfort Valley Farm, December 2007
Volunteers at the farm the Saturday after the flood. In the red coat is Hannah, our kick butt volunteer coordinator.
John, helping to cut back the drywall above the waterline. Photo of flood damage at Boistfort Valley Farm, December 2007
John, helping to cut back the drywall
above the waterline.
Click the button above to make a donation using PayPal.
If you do not wish to use PayPal, you may
mail your donation to:
Boistfort Valley Farm
426 Boistfort Road
Curtis, WA 98538
We also have accounts at the following stores, and are able to take donations through them as well. Please reference Mike Peroni/Boistfort Valley Farm as the account name.
the Farm Store in Chehalis (360) 748-3368
Palmer Lumber in Chehalis (360) 748-8848
Barnett Implement in Chehalis (our local tractor parts supplier) (360) 748-9944
Auto Motive, Inc. in Chehalis (360) 748-8666
Cenex Harvest States (our fuel supplier) (360) 748-4655
& our seed suppliers:
Osborne Seed Company in Mt. Vernon (800) 845-9113, (360) 424-7333
Johnny's Selected Seeds in Albion, Maine (877) 564-6697
One percent of cash donations to our farm will in turn be donated to the Boistfort Valley Community Fund, a non-profit organization which distributes 100% of its proceeds to our community members.
Thank you!

p.s. Thank you to all of you who have written us to express your concern & to offer your help (over 400 emails!). We do have a reliable internet connection again, & we will get back to you as quickly as we can.


Local Press

Boistfort Valley Farm on King 5 News -- December 2007 Boistfort Valley Farm on the front page of the Olympian -- December 2007

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 Farms Still Organic After Flood (article)

Monday, February 8, 2008 Still getting hands dirty, 2 months after Northwest flood (article)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 Farms Getting Back on their Feet in Flood Zone (interview)

Friday, December 21, 2007 Good News for Organic Farmers (article)

Monday, December 17, 2007 Flood victims count their costs (article)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 The Conversation (interview with Heidi at the end, 44:10 minutes in)

Monday, December 10, 2007 Volunteers in Lewis County (video)

Sunday, December 9, 2007 Farms hit by Floods (video) Long recovery awaits farmers (article)

Saturday, December 8, 2007 Photo Gallery: Volunteers Help With Flood Clean-Up 2007 (photos)

Friday, December 7, 2007 Photo Gallery: Boistfort Valley Flood Clean-Up & I-5 Reopening 2007 (photos) Boistfort Valley farms in ruins (video)


Flood Updates

December 21, 2007

Thank you for your generosity and your prayers. This last two weeks has been difficult, to say the least. We finally have a new home base for the time being, and have our phone and computer up and running.

We have already accomplished quite a bit of clean up at the farm, thanks to many hands wearing gloves and wielding shovels. Our garage, shop, barn, and greenhouses have been cleared of mud and debris, and we are beginning to clean the contents that remain. The strong river current carried many things away, and we drive past them, caught in fencelines and dumped into ditches, on our way out the valley. It has become rather a sad joke for me, "Is that ours? Is that?" The farm looks a little better each day, though, and we're thrilled to have so many volunteers.

Our home has seen better days, but it is approaching the turning point. The walls have been cut back, the floor has been pulled up to try to save it, and today arrives a crew of folks to clear the mud from the crawl space under the house. This is not a job for the timid. Every day brings a bit of hope and despair. But we are determined to continue, and feel so blessed that so many people have moved to help us, physically, financially, spiritually. It is overwhelming.

I apologize if you have emailed and I have not yet responded. We have received over 400 emails in the last two weeks. We have a volunteer coordinator here at the farm, and will try to update the website as frequently as possible to keep you informed.

Thank you for your continued support. We would not be able to do this without you!

Kerry Hines (left) of Chehalis and Hannah Johnson of Pe Ell, move crates of vegetables from a mud-filled barn at the Boistfort Valley Farm west of Adna, Wash., on Friday, Dec. 7, 2007 -- photo © Tony Overman/The Olympian
Kerry Hines (left) of Chehalis and Hannah Johnson of Pe Ell, move crates of vegetables from the mud-filled barn at the Boistfort Valley Farm
on Friday, December 7, 2007.
photo © Tony Overman/The Olympian

Mud fills the yard at the Peroni home in the Boistfort Valley west of Adna, Wash., on Friday, Dec. 7, 2007 -- photo © Tony Overman/The Olympian
Mud fills the yard at Mike Peroni's home
on Friday, December 7, 2007.
photo © Tony Overman/The Olympian
December 8, 2007

We awoke on Monday morning to some flooding, but nothing serious. It floods at least once each winter, but does not usually come near our cultivated ground, just in the low spots in the field. The water rose at an alarming pace, though, and was up to the base of the house by late morning.

Mike and my father began moving our vehicles and tractors to higher ground at that point. Water rushed over the driveway, and we ran into our greenhouses and garage to stack our winter squash, shallots, and onions on pallets.

We felt confident that the water would stay well below the house, as it had never even reached the base of the foundation before. We rushed into the office (behind the house) and began stacking everything onto folding tables. My mother and I then went back into the house with the baby, as the current was becoming strong. We piled things on top of the furniture, just in case.

By the time we realized that the water would enter the house, it was too late to evacuate by car. We stood by and watched our garage, our office, our greenhouses fill with water. Then our vehicles, our box trucks, our tractors were flooded.

We waited in the living room, front door open, water pouring over the toes of our shoes. Our dogs tiptoed back and forth in the living room, pacing in the muddy water. When they came to pick us up, it was by boat, at 2:30 in the afternoon. We had awoken at 7.

I never understood, when faced with catastrophic flooding, why people stayed. I assumed that in a situation like that, we would just pack up and leave immediately. But you don't realize how devastating it will be until you are in the midst of it.

You think it's just like the last flood, or the one before it. People said that never in the last 100 years has it flooded like this. No one in the valley could remember such a flood, or remember talk of such a flood, ever in the valley.

The water receded as quickly as it rose, and by Tuesday afternoon we were able to return to the farm. I am not ready to put into words what we saw when we went home. I will say that the water rose over two feet inside our home before it crested and began to fall. All our storage crops, along with much of our other possessions and equipment, have been flooded or washed away.

We are staying with friends until we are able to secure a semi-permanent living space for the coming months. And slowly, we are cleaning up the farm, to begin again.

I will update with information, progress, and ways that people can help in the coming days.

Thank you,

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Boistfort Valley Farm, Inc.
426 Boistfort Road
Curtis, WA 98538
(360) 245-3796


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