Local farms still cleaning up after Hurricane Irma

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Folks around the area are still experiencing problems because of the wind, rain and storm surge Irma brought to our area.

Specifically, local farmers.

Those at Legare Farms on Johns Island are doing what they can to get things back to normal. Legare Farms extends across 300 acres, according to Thomas Legare, one of the farm's owners.

He says 295 of those have more water than they should.

"We did have a lot of damage," says Legare. "We had a lot of wind. It affected a lot of the fields with the different crops with the water coming up in it. And with the tidal surge."

Since Irma, crews have been trying to clean up, getting ready for one of their busiest months.

But it wasn't just this storm that has caused problems.

"We've had, on average, six inches of rain every week for the past six weeks," Legare says.

It's a reason, Legare says, the pond the water buffalo like to be in is the highest he's ever seen.

They also had to move the pumpkin patch this year to a different field.

"A lot of our property is a pasture and there are a lot of fields we can't even drive in to mow like we should be doing this time of year because you can bog a tractor in it, cut ruts in it and we don't want that," Legare adds. "So we've just had to not mow for the time being."

Legare says, though, that if we don't have another storm they should be able to catch up soon.

In the meantime, those in the community are still able to enjoy the farm.

"The community has been great in supporting us in all the things we do," Legare says.

The farm's busiest time of the year is in October. They typically see between 15,000 and 25,000 people come through.

Helen Legare-Floyd, another owner of the farm, sent out the following newsletter:
I was hoping we would escape a fall without flooding especially after the really wet summer we've had. Unfortunately we weren't
that lucky. Hurricane Irma thank goodness was a Tropical Storm by the time she got here but still brought strong winds and heavy rain. The farm survived with just the lost of a few trees. The biggest problem now is the water has taken a long time to go away. We have moved the pumpkin field this year because we aren't renting the property next door. Our pumpkin supply field is in good shape and we will have plenty of pumpkins for sale. The field that everyone picks from isn't looking too good. We had to shift it up onto higher ground at the last minute so it's looking pitiful but we will have the pumpkins. Most of the other activities will be in the same place. The playground/picnic area is a dry spot so it dried out quickly and mowing grass is all that it takes to be ready there. 

Vegetables are pretty forgiving if the water goes away quickly. The worst problem in a tropical storm with vegetables is the tomatoes. Tomatoes are staked and tied up. Stakes can easily break and then your
tomatoes are on the ground. It doesn't kill the tomatoes but it sure makes it hard to pick them. Okra is also a problem with high wind. By fall okra plants are head tall and will blow over. If you can't stand the plants back up then your okra crop is done.
Thank goodness we didn't have any of these problems this time.

We will be opening the Pumpkin Patch on Saturday October 7th. We are open every weekend for the public and Tuesday through Friday for school field trips.. We also will start CSA fall vegetable deliveries
the week of October 13th. The Rolling Market will be on the road too. We hope to keep the market going year round. October will be a crazy busy time. We are still looking for folks to work during October both during the week for field trips and on the weekends.
We are also looking for someone to help with the Rolling Market. 

October Pumpkin Patch
November Thanksgiving on the Farm field trips
November 25th Open House at the farm

Feature of the Month
The Pumpkin Patch is the Feature of the Month. The Patch opens Saturday October 7th at 10:00 am. We will be open Fridays 5-8 pm, Saturdays 10am -8pm, Sundays 1-6 pm. We will have all the regular activities,
hayrides to feed the cows, horse rides (be sure to check for times because the horses get tired) scarecrow factory, duck races, playground, gem mind, animal barnyard, concessions. We'll be serving our beef and pork. Our meat is also for sale as well as jams,
jellies, pickles, salsas, honey, relishes, and salsas. Lots to do at the patch. For free tickets click here

Hope to see you at the farm soon for the Pumpkin Patch or on the Rolling Market. Call us or email if you have questions.

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