Owing your own business, and a farm no less, offers plenty of fodder for the worriers. The possibility of a barn fire is one that gets even the zen farmers a bit worried. In the past few years, they seem to have been numerous. Perhaps some combination of old infrastructure and of course great fuel -be it hay or old timbers.
As we loaded hay into our barn this summer, it pre-occupied our minds, thinking of Maple Wind Farm, Pete’s Greens, the Paquin’s in Williamstown and so many others. Wanting to make sure that as each bale goes in it is dry enough to stay stable through the winter and not be the source of a fire. At least that piece feels like something we can control.
Last week, as the we artfully tucked the last bales into the hay loft, it was even more on our minds as our friends at Applecheek Farm had just lost their hay and one of their barns to a fire.
Fortunately, as fellow grazers, all of their animals were on pasture as it is summer, but their winter feed fueled the fire instead of waiting to be winter feed for their livestock.
Anyone who shops at the Montpelier Farmers Market has probably felt the warmth of Rocio’s smile, whether you know her or not.
And those who have stopped at Applecheek’s stand for organic, grass-fed beef, pastured-pork or organic-pastured eggs have certainly experienced Rocio’s gracious, positive outlook. Her positivity is contagious and with just a few comments she has often redirected my overwhelmed mindset towards one of gratitude and abundance. ” You have to keep looking at the joyful parts,” she once said. Rocio, is one of the joyful parts of life, as is her and John’s commitment to humanely and sustainably raised food.
We are saddened by their loss and knowing that it means so much more work in a season that is already overbooked. One of our former members, and a fan of Applecheek’s generously created an easy way for folks to offer some support, via a fundraising campaign. We are happy to join the community of farmers and eaters to help them move forward. We hope others will also contribute via the Barn Fire Support campaign and shopping from Applecheek Farm.
We have so felt the love, faith and generosity from Rocio and Applecheek Farm, helping us remember why we do this work and holding to beautifully high standards. Feeling grateful for what Applecheek Farm offers all of us and for the community that supports sustainable agriculture at farms like theirs and ours.