by Erica at High Rocks

Derecho was a new term for me.  Spanish for straight, it means a storm with very high winds that travel in a straight line. (Compare to the Spanish word for twisted, tornado.) June 29th we were hit by this untwisted tornado.   We were in a “state of emergency,” declared a federal disaster area.  The National Guard was mobilized, FEMA and the American Red Cross set up camp.  Today, July 8th, power was just restored to my area.  Now, we can water gardens without hauling buckets from creeks and ponds!  Though the storm brought a little rain, this week has been the hottest on record and without rain.

 I have to say, that despite the hardship these winds caused, being able to get fresh food from the garden was the most satisfying saving grace.  Never before has it been so clear to me how important having a strong, local food source is to our families.  With gas rationed and in demand for generators, and distant grocery stores open limited hours with limited offerings, those with gardens and a pantry with preserved produce fared best in this disaster.   We are blessed to live in a place where we can get most of what we need from the land nearby.   
We are so grateful for Grow Appalachia for helping us build the systems we need to feed ourselves sustainably and for helping to provide this extra measure of resiliency and comfort in times of crisis.  Now that power and communication systems have mostly been restored, I am looking forward to hearing the stories of our participants this week.