Broad Valley Orchard

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Rain – Ahhhh!

Hello All,

Last night Judy and I sat in On The Square, a small restaurant in New Oxford. For years it was just a small family cafe. New owners have built upon its homey nature, and added one surprising change. Their Japanese chef, a once a month, prepares a 7 course, two hour, traditional Japanese sushi, etc. meal. We took our visiting son,Tobin, who is a permanent resident of Okinawa, to this repast; he was amazed at the quality. We all felt it was great. But, Nature provided wonderful dinner entertainment = it rained one inch (2.54cm) while we sat there!

For the last 4 months, our region has been stalked by drought. We have seen how parched it is at Fulton Farm in Chambersburg, at the Gettysburg College Student Garden, and we hear reports of dust in the spring-fed creek bottoms of Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve. Luckily the ‘meteorological trap’ of our bend in the Blue Ridge Mountains, has kept just enough rainfall falling at BVO. But five days ago I grudgingly broke out a thousand feet of water hose, and soaker hose, and put it on our blueberrries, raspberries,corn, and even onto some recently planted dwarf apple trees.

Each morning as I got up at 5 AM, and each evening, I trudged out to apply some precious cistern water to keep the crops going. On the fifth morning our 2000 gallons ( 8000L) of rain water were spent, and I hooked the system up to the well. This morning I am really happy to be sitting here writing this journal entry, while the clouds are still dripping. I remember back to 1998-2002 (The Five-Year Drought), and remember how tough that half decade was. Most of the houses and farms around here lost their springs, and even their wells. I remember how wretched we felt watching ‘dry thunderstorms’ barrel past. When we bought BVO in 1983, locals told us this area was ‘drought proof’; well, ‘the times they are a-changing’….

So this morning, we will head out, to fix a fence that has busted, and then deliver berries to Hundred Fold Farm, our new solar community in Cashtown. I hope their gardens got soaked, too. I hope your gardens are getting enough, but not too much, rain, too.

Thank You

Thom Marti

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