Floodgate Farm on Heart Mountain has been known for overflowing bounty and a salad mix that boasts over 50 types of greens. “Floodgate Farm was a botanical tangle, with edible surprises wherever you turn,” says Ukiah Farmers Market Manager, Scott Cratty. Bill Taylor and Jaye Moscariello tend this wild paradise on Bakers Creek Road in Redwood Valley. On July 16, 2017, the Grade Fire roared up the mountain to their farm and burned one hundred percent of the orchard and nearly all the berries, grapes and exotic fruit trees in the garden area. “CalFire was amazing and quick to keep our home and outbuildings safe,” Bill adds.
“We calculated that we’d earned twenty percent less from last year at the farmers markets due to the wet winter and spring reducing production and buyers at the Farmers’ Markets,” says Bill. “We were counting on the heavily laden fruit trees to help us make up for it. In addition to the loss of this year’s harvest, we do not know how many years of lost production to expect as we will need to regraft any resprouting rootstocks and replant those that do not come back, but for many trees it is likely to be a five year setback.“
The couple’s insurance covers only a fraction of the damage. Friends and neighbors have been supportive, coming to help, and have encouraged Jaye and Bill to set up a Go Fund Me campaign. The two are also tapping into their other resources.“Jaye is an artist with lots of art for sale, a fire sale if you will. We’re grateful they survived. See paintings of our landscape “Before the Fire” at: www.jayesite.com .
In a community known for supporting others, here’s to helping Bill and Jay get back on their feet so that the bounty of Floodgate Farm can rise again.