Rising from the Ashes Willowood Farm's First Harvest after the Fire - By David Stern

A normal week of farming is difficult enough. Back breaking labor, foul weather, and deep mud, are just a few of the features that working outdoors in the Pacific Northwest has to offer. But farming the week after losing your entire business and barn to a fast moving fire adds a whole new challenge to the work.

Winter leek
Fresh kale, ready for the Northwest's finest kitchens

The local community has contributed in such a way that Farmer Georgie and the Willowood Crew (Mel, Paul, and Alanah) have been able to practically keep harvesting without pause. Once new totes, tools, and other supplies were donated and purchased, the work could begin.

Alanah and Topsanna rolling hundreds of pounds of produce into the packing room on Sherman Farm. Willowood Farm in the background.
Borrowed scales are being used to weigh the produce for packing.
Manager Alanah bringing the good attitude and broccolini

Root vegetables such as parsnips and carrots were harvested last week and stored in the squash barn at Sherman's Pioneer Produce. Today the fresh greens were harvested, washed, and packed for delivery. Because the packing shed also burned down, Liz and Dale Sherman have generously offered the use of their processing facility to wash and box up the produce as well as store it in the walk-in refrigerator.

Crossing off different orders as they are packed
"I look at is as I always have when we have some insurmountable project ahead, some crazy harvest, a huge field to weed, whatever it was that seemed like too big, too much, too overwhelming. One day at a time, one step (forward) at a time. And so…we’ll get it done." -Farmer Georgie Smith

One week after the fire, the Willowood crew and local volunteers have harvested and packed one of the largest orders they have ever received. Let that sink in for a moment. More than double the normal orders came in showing the obvious love and support our regional culinary community has for Georgie and the high quality organic produce she grows on Ebey's Landing.

Prima Bistro, Walrus & Carpenter, Copperleaf, Lark, Joule, and Christopher's are just a few of the popular restaurants who use Willowood Produce on their menu.

Today also brought our local NBC affiliate to the farm to do a story about Willowood and how they are continuing with such success after such a loss. Here is a link to that story: http://www.king5.com/news/local/family-vows-to-rebuild-iconic-whidbey-barn-destroyed-by-fire/422887640

KING 5 News documenting the process and focusing on community involvement

Please enjoy these photographs of the beautiful produce that was harvested this week at Willowood Farm on Ebey's Prairie and be sure to check out the links on the the bottom of this page.

Russian Kale
Organic is best
Amazing multi color carrot
Sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke)

Copyright 2017. David Stern - Whidbey Custom Custom Photography

No commercial use without permission and credit. Please share with your friends.

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David Stern

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