News From the Farm | June 10, 2019

Just as many of us were about to go into weekend mode, on Saturday afternoon, the Sand Fire sent the northern Capay Valley into a controlled panic. The fire started in the hills just behind Rumsey, off of a road that had been washed out and was inaccessible to fire equipment.  The high winds and hot weather threatened to push the fire down the valley towards Guinda.  It loomed above farms and ranches, where people, houses, animals and crops were in harms way.  Around here, the evacuations include animals, so horses, goats, cats and dogs were moved in a very short time, with all the decisions and coordination that entails taking place in short order.

Instead of continuing south, the fire crossed the valley floor and jumped highway 16, moving into the western hills of the Valley, where it remains today.  As of this writing, the fire fighters are still working hard, holding the flames off from farms and buildings.  Bulldozers, chain saws and fire retardant are all being put to use.  

It happened that the path that the fire burned across the Valley floor included a field of beautiful heirloom wheat that Full Belly had grown and had yet to harvest.  We weren’t the only ones though — other friends lost equipment and barns.  We are so thankful for the volunteer firefighters, for CalFire and for all the many other fire jurisdictions that get pressed into service under these hot, smoky conditions.  Thank you all for your thoughts and messages.  We are all safe and sound, and Monday morning brought our crews of workers to the farm like clockwork.

—Judith Redmond

Name that crop… toasted wheat?