On April 9th, 2009 a 500 gallon propane tank catastrophically failed and caused a fire that destroyed our house, barn, several farm outbuildings and our greenhouses. We were overwhelmed by the help provided to us by our town and community, and are grateful for the short and long term support we received. We converted a barn that survived the fire to housing and moved back to the farm in the fall of 2009.
We developed a cleanup plan with the help of Karl Hammer, friend and owner of Vermont Compost Company and our certifier, Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) that would allow us to uphold the standards of VOF and produce food on the site again. We removed by hand all pieces of plastic and debris, then bulldozed and removed 8 to 10 inches of soil from the site. We took soil samples at this level, which were tested and came back clean. We cut into the hillside behind the greenhouses and removed soil and covered the site to a depth of 12”. To the areas in the new greenhouses we have been adding compost and minerals to re awaken the soil.
We built a new barn in the spring of 2010, which will replace the storage that we lost as well as provide a heated shop. It is a traditional timber frame and uses some materials salvaged from our 1880’s Cape which was lost to the fire.