Hurricane Flats Farm – Post-Hurricane

At least 120 volunteers showed up to help clear the fields at Hurricane Flats Farm in South Royalton, VT after flooding caused by Hurricane Irene. At 9:00am there were six acres of ruined crops; by 2:00pm, plastic mulch and irrigation lines had been dug out, debris had been carried away, and fields were tilled, awaiting the sowing of a cover crop. It was a new beginning. More photos at

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2 Responses to Hurricane Flats Farm – Post-Hurricane

  1. Jennifer Fisk says:

    With all of the silt containing God knows what from the flooding, where does that leave the farm in terms of Organic certification for future growing seasons?. I know historically floods have served to regenerate ground but that was before all of the toxic junk in our environment.

  2. uvlocalvores says:

    Good question. It is indeed sad that flooding, which once upon a time was a source of river valley soil fertility, is now a source of contamination. This is how NOFA VT responds to your question:

    “The organic regulations require that “prohibited substances” cannot be applied to land for at least three years prior to harvesting the organic crop. Floodwaters can contain many potential contaminants including manure from livestock operations, runoff from septic systems and water treatment facilities, agricultural chemicals, heavy metals as well as contaminants such as oil, diesel, gasoline or paint. Fortunately the volume of water during flooding events often dilutes the contaminants. In most cases, low levels of contaminants would be considered unavoidable residual environmental contaminants and would not affect the certification of the land.

    However, there are instances where prohibited residues would be of greater concern and farmers should contact Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF) to discuss next steps. If your farm is directly downstream from a source of concentrated prohibited substances, for example a sewage treatment facility or if there is evidence of contamination, for example an oily residue on your fields or a empty propane tank, VOF may decide to test for likely contaminants and continued certification of the affected field will be based on the outcome of the tests and on-site inspection.”
    See more at

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