Thursday, April 20, 2006

Singed farm could use a little help

I just got an e-mail saying the wildfire the tore through the Fountain area early this week burned part of Venetucci Farm. Michael Hannigan, the director of the nonprofit that oversees the farm said:

"For awhile, it seemed content to burn the narrow strip between the highway and the creek, but the roaring wind had other ideas. The fire seemed to search the riverbank looking for a weak spot to cross, and then leaped the creek to feed on the dry grasses of our Farm.

As we watched the 30-foot flames race across our south pasture followed by towering flame whorls rising a hundred feet into the air, the whitetail deer and the wild turkeys fled to safer ground.

Luckily, we'd done about half of our early spring plowing in the lower fields, creating a fire-break that essentially saved Venetucci Farm from potentially disastrous fire damage. While our south pasture is completely charred, the rest of the Farm is safe and sound.

Now the hard work addition to getting ready to plant pumpkins for kids, put in cover crops to rebuild the soil, and also sow the sweet corn that made Venetucci Farm famous, we need to reseed and replant our meadow to keep the soil from eroding and blowing away. If you can spare some time and energy, we could use your help."

For anyone who has yet to volunteer on the farm, it's a lot of fun. You feel good after a day in the dirt, and Tim, who runs the place, is a great guy. Last year he taught me how to drive an old tractor. If you'd like to help out,
at Venetucci Farm, contact Michael Hannigan or Mary Klever at (719) 389-2151 or

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