The Road Was Like An Ocean

Imagine leaving suburbia behind and moving to a farm in a valley bordered by a river, mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. Instead of carefully manicured yards, your children run through fields. You live in a 115-year-old white farmhouse on 13 lush acres. In the winter, trumpeter swans, rare ducks, hawks, owls, hundreds of bald eagles, and thousands of snow geese join the menagerie of goats, chickens, horses, and dogs that already call your new land home. For Jen of Kinship Farms, this fantasy is her new reality. 

Barebones's Gathering Bag

Sometimes, though, reality hits hard—as it did when heavy flooding overtook the farm a few weeks ago. “On Sunday, we heard we might ‘flood a little bit,’” Jen recalls. “At 10:30 PM we went to bed and at 6:00 AM Monday morning, we were surrounded by a lake that lapped across the road like an ocean for three whole days.” Flooding isn’t uncommon in the valley, but incessant rains and a loose snowpack on Mount Baker combined with swollen riverbanks and multiple broken dikes to create the flood of the decade. 

There was too much water for the land to soak up. Sandbags were repacked daily. Every three hours, Jen used our spade, ultimate tool, pruners, and gathering bag to refill and restack them. 

Barebones's Pruner & Sheath

Photos courtesy of Jen Wakefield

The aftermath of the flooding added to the list of farm chores, like repairing fences that were swept away, for several weeks. It also taught Jen a lesson she shared on @kinshipfarms Instagram: “When everyone tells you to put down the gravel...PUT DOWN THE GRAVEL.”

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