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Mishaps, Misfortune and Mistakes... all in a day's work at Coulter Farms!

Posted 5/29/2019 7:26pm by Kinley Coulter.

     Last week had started out rather well.  But the week that came in like a lamb was destined to go out like a lion.

 

 
     We had beaten the rain and gotten all  63 acres of hay safely baled just as the clouds decided to dump their soaking wet cargo.  85 acres done with over 100 remaining to be cut in the next couple of weeks… IF it quits raining.
 
     Thursday’s farm market was bustling and busy, and the cash register was ringing merrily and steadily filling up with the 20 dollar bills that keep this farm operating.  Suddenly, an eerie stillness settled over the farm market.  Hmmm… this does not look good… no, not good at all!  Blue sky fled and dense, disturbingly dark clouds blotted out the sun.  Moments later, powerful thunderstorms thumped our erstwhile bustling market.  We would find out later that a tornado watch had been issued just before the storms hit us.  Wind gusts in our area were clocked at 68 mph and a tornado did touch down north east of DC. 
 
     To say that the market was decimated is an serious understatement… it was devastation unlike I had ever seen in 10 years at farm markets.   All but a few of the 30 pop-up tents that vendors sell from were shredded to pieces, or blew off to the Land of Oz.   Here are a few photos of the aftermath…after most of the debris was cleaned up.
 
 
 
 
   During the storm, the three of us that were working that market were clinging to our tents...hanging on for dear life to our two EZ-ups.  They were tied down to three different 100 pound coolers, and had three massive weights anchoring the front of the tents… all told we had over 800 pounds of down force to battle the wind for possession of our precious tents… it was a very close fight.  Thankfully, the wind departed, empty-handed of Coulter Farms’ market tents.   Jessica declares that the tent lifted off the ground on her side at one point.  I had the presence of mind to tell the two girls to let go if things went airborne.  Anyway… all was well that ended well… although the pile of 20$’s was pretty pathetic by the end of the day.  Thankfully, we didn’t have to dip deep  into the puny pile of bills to buy any $500 replacement tents.  So… that was Thursday.
 
    Saturday morning we arrived at market in good time, and had nice weather.  It promised to be a good day on the heels of Thursday’s debacle.  Sadly, we opened the door of the walk-in cooler and were greeted by a highly aggravating  mishap.  
 
 
     A crate of yogurt quarts in the walk-in cooler on our trailer had decided to take a fatal sabbatical from where it belonged on its shelf, to the uncompromisingly hard floor… smashing most of the 18 plastic quarts of yogurt, and spattering sticky goop both far and wide.   Waking up at 2:30 am to go to market leaves our attitudes a little marginal by the time we arrive at market at 5:30… In spite of that we gamely cleaned up the slimy mess on the floor… grumbled about the loss of $90 worth of yogurt and a precious hour of set up time… pasted market smiles on our faces, and proceeded to have one of the best market days we’ve had all year, with a very satisfying pile of 20$’s… once again, all’s well that ends well.
 
     As I write this, Jared and his wife are hunkered down at Wednesday farm market getting ready to get hit by a line of ominous thunder storms.  He says they are dry, so far.  We took a pretty good pounding from the storm at the farm… it remains to be seen whether they will dodge a bullet and escape unscathed.  Summer storms do an excellent job of keeping farm market from getting boring.  
 
     Late update: this is what their market looked like after the drenching downpour :(.
 
 
     The encouraging news, in all of this, is that we have reached our peak milk production for the year and our faithful customers are absorbing all of it.  Rich, lush, vibrant, diverse, dark green, nutrient dense organic pastures are filling our cows' udders impressively.  Late May milk production is booming.  Our bottler, cheesemaking equipment, and milk fermentation equipment are humming happily at a pace more than double what it will be by fall.   It’s a very comforting thing to watch the refrigerated bulk tank bursting at the seams with a full load of sun-golden 100% grassfed certified organic milk, and to know that we have customers happy to buy it all.  That makes the mishaps and adventures at market well worth enduring.  Thanks again for your vital and much appreciated support!