Flood Damage: The Good and Bad News

While there was no loss of life or limb (other than five newborn piglets) for the Black Cat group (Black Cat Farm-Table-Bistro, Bramble and Hare, Black Cat farm), the farm did suffer physical and crop damages. Like most Boulder restaurants, the restaurants lost revenue during the flood because of closure and have experienced poor business since then.

Good news

  • Nobody was hurt
  • The restaurants were physically unaffected
  • The farm is still in business for the year unlike some neighboring farmers
  • Eric and Jill’s farm house and barns are intact
  • The farm losses were mitigated by having the farm dispersed among three properties in very different locations (a mixed blessing)
  • Some of the crops are fine
  • The animals were nearly unaffected and the chickens are loving the burst of green grass everywhere

Bad news

  • Large revenue losses due to last week’s Farmers’ Market closures, several days of closed or partially closed restaurants, current poor restaurant business (30% of normal sales)
  • 1700 bales of hay worth $15,000 were destroyed (comprises the farm’s entire winter stockpile for the sheep and cattle)
  • A majority of the sheep may need to be slaughtered because of the resulting loss of Winter feed for them (more on that below)
  • The Monarch-County Open Space property (Monarch Park Place and Route 52) property has standing water in the fields
  • The J Family-County Open Space property (Southwest corner of 63rd and Oxford) had a torrent of water running through the cukes, melons, and winter squash
  • Five newborn piglets died
  • The root cellars each have 18 inches of water (not sure if there is permanent damage)
  • Watermelon, melon, and spinach crops have been destroyed
  • The carrot crop (12,000 pounds worth $30,000) might be lost
  • There are 1500-2000 pounds tomatoes that are bursting open and rotting in the fields
  • Long term effect of lots of topsoil loss and soil nutrients, which will have a great effect on next year’s crops
  • No assistance from any government agency (FEMA, SBA, Department of Agriculture, etc.)

As for slaughtering most of the sheep, Eric says, “The bummer in that is that it has taken us 3 years to build the herd’s size. We are almost at the point where we can have lamb on the menu every night.”

How you can support the farm

The restaurants normally provide the income to supplement the farm and cover any losses. However, low restaurant business creates problems in the wake of the flood.

The best way to support the farm is by patronizing Black Cat Farm-Table-Bistro and Bramble and Hare.

In Eric’s words, “The best help for us right now is to have full dinning rooms and a healthy cash flow. We’re dumping a lot of money into the farm and rely on the restaurants to provide the cash flow at times like this.”

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