Hatch a Bird farm, a small family-run farm here in Powell River, experienced a serious fire in many of their out-buildings. The storefront, tool shop, food storage shed, seed starter room, and one of the chicken coops were all completely destroyed in the blaze, and a few of the greenhouses were severely impacted. Peter and Helena lost a majority of their farm tools, as well as freezers full of meat sold to locals, soil and seeds for this season's crop production, and the majority of their laying hens.
At the beginning of a new year, with crop production about to ramp up for spring, and many new animals on the way, this fire has had a devastating impact on Peter and Helena's ability to operate. They've been a part of this community for 30 years, supplying local grocery stores and neighbourhoods up and down the coast, and are hoping to thrive for many years to come.
I've been working at the farm for the past few months, and have been welcomed as part of the family. Peter and Helena recently decided to cancel their farm insurance when the premiums doubled making it unaffordable for a small farm So we are reaching out to our community and abroad, asking for support to help them start over.
In an immediate sense, we need to build infrastructure to protect a new cooling storage space for both meat and produce, as well as a new coop for new chickens who are set to arrive at the end of February.
While we would not expect the community to replace decades of investment in tools and other equipment, we've included some of the losses incurred just to give a sense of what we're facing in the rebuilding process:
Walk in cooler - $10,000
Produce coolers -$5,000
Six freezers - $2500
Shop tools (drills, saws, welder, grinder, rototillers etc) - $20,000
Gardening tools (seeders, shovels, rakes, hoes etc) - $2000
Irrigation supplies ( hoses, sprinklers etc) - $1500
Propagation room (seed starter trays, heating pads, tables, bins, thermostats, starter lights etc)- $4000
Estimate does not include structural rebuild.
This was a tragedy that destroyed the center of where we start and finish all of our products, but could have been much worse. The winds weren't bad that night and we caught the fire early enough, so two large 100 year old barns with large live stock, Peter and Helena's main home, and the worker's residence were all spared from the blaze. We are very grateful that it wasn't worse, and we thank everyone in the community, and the Powell River Fire Department, for their support thus far.
For local residents of Powell river, if you have any old freezers or any farm tools that you're not using, please contact Peter and Helena at Hatch a Bird Farm. We are also looking for a 2 row potato planter.
Again, we thank you all for your support and hope to be back to spring prep as soon as we can.
This campaign is started by Taylor Carr, a Powell River resident who's been assisting Peter & Helena with farm duties since summer, but the funds will be received by Helena.
- Kenneth Palfrey
- Helen Brooks
- Wendy Pelton
- Brendan Dodson
- Krista Lagrange
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