A week has passed since the barn fire. Heavy, mixed emotions of sadness, futility, anger, and fear fill our minds and hearts, alongside tremendous gratitude for outpourings of sympathy, encouragement, and generosity. We are grateful that no one was hurt and our home and shop were spared.
We’re focusing on the day-to-day, with Patrick returning to F&M, and Elisa and the farm crew handling the farm, animals, B&B, and the start of clean-up. Our B&B is open and hosting visitors, and we’re thankful that we could share breakfast this morning with a couple from Brooklyn, NY.
On the first day of the fire, a fire marshal visited our farm to investigate. Two days later, a Cause & Origin Fire Specialist came from Pittsburgh and spent several hours analyzing the scene, debris, and structure, but he was unable to determine the cause of the fire. We discussed possible causes, from arson to electrical to the chest freezers to parked lawn mowers. The damage was too severe to conclude a cause with certainty; and it also leaves us feeling unsure of what if anything could have been done differently. And so while we are left unsettled and wary, we do know that we will be adding surveillance and additional fire-prevention measures for the property.
With heartfelt sincerity, we are so grateful to our friends, neighbors, and family who have offered support, prayers, time and service, childcare, and meals. We are thankful for the many volunteer firefighters who leapt from their beds and worked tirelessly into the morning and for all the volunteer firefighters who were ready to come if called to the scene. Our son, Marcus, is our biggest blessing and is already showing us how he intends to rebuild the barn by using his tools and toys on the living room floor.
We are reminded of the many farmers in generations past who faced successive tragedies, crop failures, or destructive acts and nonetheless kept going and coped. We are reminded that the structure of a barn can be rebuilt, but more important is the structure and intactness of our families and hearts and faith. Beyond the limits of our strength or intelligence or desire, there is more. We live from a bounty not our own, and what is most important is not what we build, but who and what we serve.
Rise and shine – slip on your boots and head to the barn for hands-on farm experience before a family-style breakfast.
Join an educational tour of a homestead farm. Roll up your sleeves, milk a cow, and interact with our many farm animals.
Taste the difference of our pasture-raised beef, and recipes perfected with forty years of hosting meals at our farm B&B. Share the joy of farm life with a gift certificate for friends or family.