Our Pack House was inspected by Vince from the CDFA (California Dept of Food and Ag) today at 1 pm. He found one hole big enough for a Med Fly, luckily Augustine was on hand to quickly fill it with foam. So we passed. We are now able to bring in host fruits and vegetable from outside the quarantine area, pack them into our weekly CSA boxes and send them outside of the Quarantine area. This may all be a bit confusing but in reality it means that we can replace the items we are not allowed to pick with the same from another farm. Having a 'Certified' Med Fly proof pack house ensures that if a med Fly was to be on the farm it could not get to the produce and lay any eggs. All the Med Flies caught so far have been in the City of Dixon, 3 miles away.
At the Farmers Market today one farmer made the comment that this could happen to any of us. We all feel quite vulnerable. This was not something we figure into the many risk we take farming. I have been asked about crop insurance...
About five years ago a study group of USDA officials came to the farm to work on how they could write crop insurance for small farms such as ours. We grow some fifty crops, all in relatively small areas. A few weeks later they contacted me with their findings... They could not write such a complicated policy for all the crops and make it affordable so their conclusion was that as we grow so many crops we are self insured!
Farmer friends continue to amaze me with their generosity. Bill from Everything Under The Sun will tomorrow, Sunday, dismantle one of his dehydrators and rebuild it on our farm so that we can dry tomatoes and peppers. Thank you Bill.