Pie Ranch faces an estimated $100,000 in damages following the recent storms. (Photo courtesy pieranch.org)
By Kate Bradshaw
Recent winter storms have caused an estimated $100,000 in damages to the farm at Pie Ranch in Pescadero.
Two large eucalyptus trees fell on the ranch's new 30,000 gallon water tank, destroying half of it, according to a post on the ranch’s website. Other trees also fell, damaging new fencing and a greenhouse. The storm also triggered flooding at Cascade Creek, and so much sediment was carried downstream that the farm residence area was flooded, leaving farmers unable to access their homes. Strong winds also ruined two hoop houses there.
The ranch says it was still recovering after being devastated by the 2020 CZU August Lightning Complex fires, which left crops covered in ash and inedible.
In its appeal for support, the nonprofit adds that these types of weather events are to be expected as a result of the climate crisis.
"The frequency, intensity, and impact of extreme weather events such as heavy downpours, windstorms, floods, and wildfires are interrelated and influenced by climate change," it said on its website. "The fires damage trees, roots and vegetation, creating loose soil that washes away in heavy downpours, forming debris flows and mudslides, clogging infrastructure and flooding downstream areas. The repeated occurrence of heat waves, droughts and extreme precipitation damage the structure of trees and cause them to fall more frequently. "
For more information or to donate, visit the ranch’s website.
Pie Ranch offers food education programs and also hosts a farm stand and a popular monthly barn dance.
The ranch is among several local farms damaged by recent storms, including Root Down and Blue House farms on the Coastside. Moonridge, an affordable housing community for farmworker families in Half Moon Bay, was also significantly flooded, according to the Half Moon Bay Review.
Simms Organics, a 20-acre farm in Pescadero owned by Jennifer Jepsen and Mathieu Simms, has also started a GoFundMe after Pescadero Creek flooded into the farm's fields Dec. 31 and Jan. 5, destroying 5 acres of lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale, chard, bok choy, kohlrabi, broccoli and cauliflower. All of the farm's 100-foot hoop houses were also heavily damaged, and the flooding has forced them to close their January markets. Donate to their fundraiser here, which seeks to raise $25,000 to cover repair costs.
Pie Ranch, 2080 CA-1, Pescadero; 650-879-0996, Instagram: @pie_ranch.