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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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Tenth anniversary of 1998 flood


To The Editor:
As we approach the 10th anniversary of the flood of 1998, I celebrate by bringing water to my garden.

The flood deposited a foot of sand over my entire yard. The next years I tried to bring some healing to the situation by planting some trees and bushes along the banks, but they were soon engulfed by the knotweed or consumed by the beavers. I basically thought I would move, but found I could not move, from fear. So I immersed myself in water -- its issues, history and properties -- a very life-enhancing connection.

All this meant I had a tenuous commitment to house, land and garden. I got into a sort of bunker mentality about my garden and boxed it in with cedar ties to keep sediment from flowing in, which happened soon after the June flood that August. Over the years the garden has taken on a live-and-let-live quality, and the soil is still very sandy.

Last fall I decided it was time to rebuild my soil. I needed to do better composting and learn all the new ways that make gardens healthy and productive. I had to ditch my old adage: "Once you start watering you have to keep it up because the roots stay near the surface," and admit I was trying to garden in a desert with a 100-foot hose. I am blessed with a gravity-fed spring and years ago I had buried an extension pipe from my water supply to my barn, just in case.

Ten years ago, Ron Hunkins spent days with me in my basement after the flood getting all the systems up and running. It was a great pleasure to revisit this basement relationship -- this time hooking up an outdoor faucet attached to the barn next to the garden. What a way to celebrate -- water to the garden.

Dorothy Tod



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