After The Flood

CSA Shareholders

Strawberry/Lavender Jam fresh for market

Before I continue with the farm’s newsletter I want to update our CSA Shareholders on your pickup and what to do next.  We are heading into the weekend in a couple of days with a forecast of nice weather which lends itself to a really wonderful pickup day. We will have some flowers ready to harvest as well for the pickup this weekend. Our English roses are starting to bloom as for those that have been shareholders here at the farm will remember…you will want to cut these gems. They are just lovely and their scent is incredible!

For those of you that need to pickup before the weekend…I understand, but I will tell you we have had flood damage to the farm and our road into the farm is partially closed due to remaining flood water covering the road. You will need to take the Tara Lane route that bypasses that section of Willis Branch Road to get to the farm.  Also our bridge was severely damaged during the flood. We hope to have it repaired before Saturdays farm opening. Until then you will need to park on the side of street and not attempt to drive your car into the farm’s driveway.  I am urging folks that can to wait until this weekend for picking up their shares so Mark and I have a few days to finish clean up debris and make the repairs needed before we have people here on the farm as you can imagine.

We lost our power on Saturday and didn’t get turned back on until around 2 pm. yesterday so for those that have called the farm, emailed the farm we are sorry we just weren’t able to get those messages.  I can understand some of your frustrations with 2 of our pickup dates getting canceled due to weather…all I can say it’s spring and with that comes weather. Its farming…not shopping…we live within mother natures whims…I too wished at times (not unlike Lucca my young son) mother nature came with a pause button…but of course neither do.

So, in closing with CSA updates;  If you want to come during the week to pickup…you can…I want to give you that option…if you can wait until the weekend…all the better for us and for you.  Mark and I are here on the farm throughout the week so no need to email or call. Just come on by (before 6pm) one of us will get your basket ready.

Market ready to open!

Update about the farm; The Farm will open this weekend 9-2pm  We have some great spring vegetables at the market as well as lots of plants, fresh farm eggs, hand churned real butter, and fresh made Strawberry/lavender Jam..

The Flood

It is hard to really imagine the extent of devastation we as a state suffered this past weekend. Mark and I are truly one of the luckier ones I know. You all have seen and heard the stories and we have witness so many acts of goodness and neighborly love ourselves on this little street that has been under 3 to 5 feet of flood water for the past 5 days.  It is heartwarming and uplifting…and makes me believe there lies a hero in all of us…we all are merely one circumstance way for raising to the occasion.

Willis Branch Road...flooded

The lights flicker on and off around 9:30 Saturday night as the storms pounded the metal roof of the farm-house. It had rained, storming non-stop for the last few hours. Mark and I were watching the news reports really looking for signs of tornado warnings…we have no storm shelter here on the farm…no basement…no root cellar…no safe room to hide away in. My mom who is from Kentucky calls such places fraidy holes…she would say “honey you need to dig you out a fraidy hole on that farm after we were hit by a F3 tornado in 2006.  I said…whoa… mean a root cellar? She said well that too…just a little place you run to when your afraid if the weather turns bad…hence …fraidy hole…God love her little heart…yep, we need to dig us a fraidy hole.  But it seems every time we think about putting some money toward that fraidy hole…something comes up…the truck breaks down…the bridge washes out…the beds need to be replaced…not to mention finding someone to build a root cellar…does anyone here in Nashville even know what a root cellar is anymore?  I know the few people we have talk to seem to have some idea, but none of them sounded real certain…opting more for the manufactured…”safe room”.  Really after living through 2 tornado’s I prefer to be in the side of the hill..dug in…


My sister Patsy called me a little earlier and told me our family’s farm in Humphrey county was flooding badly and had already sustained major damage by 4pm. Saturday afternoon this being one of the hardest hit counties in Tennessee with this weeks flooding. More than 19″ of rain fell in the land of three rivers (that is what they call our county) and Hurricane creek rose more than 50 feet. My mom was trapped in her house on the hill no way of getting to them…although safe…still cut completely off. My sisters Betty and Cissy whom live down there were in the same boat. One having to move to a cabin on the hill for her bridge washed away and the water raising. My Sister Betty said the water was only a foot or so from entering her house…which sits very close to the Duck river…her deck and porch crawling with snakes of all kinds trying to escape the flood water.  Both Patsy and I flooded in as well and couldn’t get to our family which added to the anxiety and fear of what was happening. Until our electric went out for good around 10pm phone call after fearful phone call came rolling in like the storms it selves getting worst with each one about our family’s farm.  Now cut off…my cell phone not getting any signal at all…I walked the floors…ringing my hands and worrying myself into complete exhaustion around 2am. The next morning Lucca woke me with a frightening “Mommy…Mommy look at this…he was standing in his jammies face pressed hard to the bedroom window…I jump out of bed to (A) find Mark gone…and (B) to find a raging river running through my front yard about six feet from the front door of the farmhouse. Now we have had flash floods here on the farm in fact we had one a couple of weeks back…but this was in comparison to an ocean vs. a river.  Amazed, dazed and then fearful not finding Mark anywhere and noticing our X-Terra was gone from the driveway..

The rain just poured from the sky and lighting striking hard and rumbling like the Greek God Apollo’s angry vengeance…No TV….power or cell phone…and no idea where Mark had went or if he is safe.  I turned on the weather radio as Lucca and I heading for the porch looking out toward the water covered street hoping we see someone…anyone..we didn’t. Mark had brought a generator a few weeks earlier…good call on his part…it was still in the unopened box on the kitchen porch.  desperate to see…actually see a radar rather than hearing the descriptions I wanted to get this generator running. Lucca hot on my heels afraid to leave my side we tore through the box unpacking this heavy machine. We couldn’t move it par say…but we did scoot it away from the wall and cut thought to expose all sides.  I scanned the owner’s manual not have any experience with operating one of these. Stopping only long enough to lift my head to see the water getting more and more violent and raising higher toward the house. Lucca hanging on my arm asking about Mark…scared, upset and in aw all at the same time.  I finally got though the quick start portion of the generators owners manual…okay…there wasn’t a quick start portion…I skimed though all the yap…yap..bah..bah..until I saw what I needed to get the thing started…oil & gas.. where to put them in and how to crank it up.  After we cut the top out of a coke bottle to use as a funnel for filling the oil. I turned to the gas issue.

Kitchen garden flooded

We have 10 gas cans around here..weedeaters, lawnmowers, leaf blower, tractor ect..ect…I couldn’t find one plain regular unleaded  gas-filled gas can. I am soaked to the bone…Lucca is soaked to the bone from running from one shed to the other here on the farm dodging lighting booms and pounding rain drops. Nothing…not a drop that I could find…cussin’…kickin’… ah ha! truck…it has gas…almost 1/2 a tank..which is good for me I hate getting gas so I let it run low…and then add a few bucks here and there…I never spend time filling up..which Mark stays mad over.  But this is good…I will siphon some gas out of the 4-runner for the generator…Heck I am from Hurricane Mills…we country girls can survive…hell yea! Now what to use to siphon?? I really have never done this before…I have seen it done…looked easy enough…had a high-school boy friend that would siphon off gas from his parents car…kept him mobile. My fish tank vacuum hose…looks perfect..long slender hose…just right to stick into the truck’s gas tank…Hallelujah! So here I go ripping the end off my fish tank vac and giving it a quick rinse under the water….hey…time is of the essences here… Lucca stands looking at me with a total expression of discuss on his face as he watches me from the cover of the porch shoving one end of the tube into the gas tank and the other into my mouth….from the first hard pull…a had a mouth and lungs full of gas vapors…choking, spitting and coughing but no gas…try again…still nothing but fumes…I tried for a good minute…time after time…nothing but I did get a little buzz….could have been from the fish tank though…

Well, Lucca we can’t start the generator I was saying as I ran back into the farmhouse…he was still wrinkling his nose at me…I think though we may need to get some things together just in case we need to hike out of here over the hill.  Just then I heard Mommy…Dad…Dad…Mark was standing on the other side of the creek bank waving his arms from our neighbors flooded out yard. I sigh a breath of relief just seeing him…knowing he was safe. Lucca perked up seeing his daddy as well.

Mark had left the f

Willis Branch Road

arm early that morning and by the time he got to Dickerson Rd. they were closing roads. By the time he got to our street he couldn’t get to the farm because of the water. He hike down the street to find higher ground and crossed over through the woods on the backside of the farm. He was as wet as any human could be …but he was home and we were sure happy to see him. He took a look at the unpack generator, shook his head as Lucca told him about the nasty fish tank hose and went straight to the shed I had just been to bring back the fuel can …I had missed…

The water continued to rise but stayed 6 or so feet from the farmhouse, we were lucky and thankful.  The next morning we hike out to survey the damage…unreal…heartbreaking and breathtaking all at the same time. Our farm was damaged yes, but nothing ….nothing like some of the folks around us. Nothing…nothing close to so many in the middle Tennessee. As we were wading back through the flood water to the farm…I told Lucca…look around son…this is a sight to remember, this is history.

ps…Lucca still won’t kiss me on the lips…fish germs he says…

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My name is Peggy Lynn Marchetti. I am a wife, a mother of two beautiful, never boring children, and a farmer... that's right - a farmer... a female farmer to be exact. I live on a beautiful little third generation organic farm in middle Tennessee.

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6 comments on “After The Flood
  1. Teresa Watkins says:

    Great story It is well told and you may get a story from the readers digest….. (asked to publish in the Readers Digest)
    So…..glad you and your family are o.k. and also that you are counting your blessings cos so many say poor me this whole episode is surely history there has never NEVER been a time like this….The Hotel the Grand ole Opry the downtown Area all is UNREAL!!!! but again loved your story Lets me know where the family was and that they are all safe but trapped…. so many lost EVERYTHING!!!! God Bless you I see you here and there and take your pic… Love TERESA

  2. Cindy says:

    Thank God you and your family are safe. Can only imagine the night mare you expensive. My heart goes out to you everyone effected by the flood.

  3. Anna says:

    So glad you’re all okay! I was worried about you 😉

  4. SG says:

    Mercy that is absolutely insane, best account I’ve heard of it, love the generator part but sorry that ya’ll and so many others had to go through that. Glad to hear you and yours are safe and didn’t loose too much.

  5. Susan Allen says:

    WOW! While reading that I felt my heart racing and my mouth snarling while you are trying to siphon the gas LOL…..Your writing is so good! “fraidy holes” HA! Love that!

    So glad u r all ok and hope things will get back to normal for you very quick :)