Residents in Guthrie are rebuilding six months after a devastating and deadly wildfire. And for one farm trying to get back on track, the owners turned to the community for help buying a much-needed piece of equipment.
At Hardnack Farms, the fire wiped out all of the crops and now the owners are trying to raise money for a wood chipper to turn all the downed trees into mulch and wood chips for their future crops.
“The fire, when it was coming, it was raining ash and stuff so it caught different areas on fire,” explained Wendy Hardnack.
Hardnack is trying to grow some patience. Her organic farm is struggling after the May 4 wildfire.
“Trees, crops, I lost grapes, raspberries, blackberries. blueberries, pecans, sand plums,” Hardnack explained.
Hardnack and her family evacuated that day and she thought she would return to nothing. Her home was spared, but the flames wiped out all of her organic crops and most of the orchard.
“No crops this year and we'll just start over for next year,” Hardnack told News 9.
It was a huge setback for her small operation that she is very proud of.
“This will be my second year and we were supposed to supply a restaurant in town, then I have people contact me for vegetables and jellies and stuff like that,” Hardnack said.
Hardnack's compost pile and 45 loads of wood chips also burned up. She uses the wood chips around the crops because they keep the weeds down and cut down on watering.
Her friends encouraged her to turn to a crowd-funding website to raise public donations for a commercial-grade wood chipper for her and the farm next door. That will not only help clean up the tree limb piles she gathered up after the fire, but also with her future farming.
“I'm really hoping we get a wood chipper because by next year if I don't have one, I probably won't be able to farm very much,” Hardnack added.
She said any little bit of money helps keep her dream of organic farming alive.