Rebounding from the wind and hail

Other years, we have had more to offer in Week #4 boxes (such a choi, shown in its hail-damaged state below). This year, after a Mother’s Day tornado-producing storm dumped hail on the plants newly exposed by the wind-torn Tunnel 1, our plants are still rebounding. We’re glad we have something to offer this week, and we’re keeping busy planting/replanting for the season ahead.

Today, the crew is picking spinach, salad turnips, and radishes from Tunnel 3.

We are going to try salvage some kale from the remains of Tunnel 1 today. No promises, but there may be some kale. If so, it will likely be a mix of 2 types, because there aren’t a lot of complete leaves. Most of them are riddled with holes from hail.

Yesterday, and most of last week, we spent seeding and transplanting more plants. In addition to the wind and hail earlier this season, it was quite cool last week, and most plants are just waiting for sun and heat. It is very slow growing outside the tunnel.

A small group has stepped forward to help the farm recover from weather-related damage. They have plans for an event to kick off a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo (, a site that allows small businesses to pitch their dreams and ideas to friends and strangers and raise funds to support their projects. That campaign is in the works, and we’ll share the link when it’s ready.

For now, please save the date of Saturday, June 14, for a big fundraiser at the Fruited Plain ( in Sioux Center. Starting at 5 p.m., there will be an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner with sausage meatballs from a locally raised organic pig, as well as brats and beer and a band on the patio outside. All proceeds will go toward our rebuilding costs.

In all, we hope these efforts will raise the $28,000 in material costs that it will take us to replace the two large high tunnels we lost in recent years. The new structures will be significantly sturdier, and we also will put up a retaining wall and trees for a wind break.We hope to put at least one new structure up in time for fall season planting in August!

Thank you for your patience and your support.
–John Wesselius