Our farm stayed dry last week after a historic 100-yr flood in northwestern WA and southern BC. It was wet and many of our neighbors are still cleaning up the mess left behind. Flooding, and having to evacuate animals, is one of my biggest fears even though we are fairly high up (11.1 feet above sea level!) and away from the river relative to other farms in the delta. Floods still show up a lot in my poems and songs though….it’s on my mind!
Our community really came together to help sandbag and rescue efforts and the new revetment wall in downtown Mount Vernon was a huge success in protecting all those small businesses. While floods are a common occurrence here, the atmospheric rivers of rain are not, so it is hard not to think about the climate crisis and how it’s impacting us now and into the future. The UN Climate Change Conference ended the weekend before the flooding happened and coincidentally that was also when I offered a writing workshop on ecological grief. This is all to say these issues have been on my mind and experiencing a natural disaster, even from the the north side of the river, has given me even more to consider and write about.
There are a lot of ways to help the farmers that have been directly affected by this weather. As we approach this long holiday weekend, where the harvest’s bounty is featured, consider giving what you can to help the people that grow your food. And while we are talking about Thanksgiving we should probably start teaching the true history of this event too. I am all for gathering and sharing a delicious meal, but maybe the emphasis should be more on gratitude versus the myths of colonization. I can’t forget that the farmland we are on used to be tidelands, where the river had free rein.
Take care and thank you for reading!
WAYS TO HELP:
Whatcom County Foundation Resilience Fund
Community to Community Solidarity Fund
Washington Dairy Federation Emergency Fund
Individual Farm GoFundMe pages: