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At some point on your farm, you are going to have a crisis. This may be a financial one, weather related, or health. 

Of course no one can predict when these things are going to happen but you do need to be prepared as much as possible. 

We had one such incident  last year, when we had an excessive amount of rain in a very short time. 

Our coconut trees which we had planted about 18 months before were flooding. We took advice and were told they will be okay if the water doesn't get to the trunk. 

The water continued to rise, and I made the decision to dig up at least 20 trees.  This was 5% of some of our best trees. By digging them up I had no idea whether they would survive. If left I wasn't certain they would they die. We had a week of  discussions of shall we shan't we dig them out. These are the trees which are going to be supporting us financially in the future, not just looking pretty in a garden. My thought was about the potential loss of revenue associated with those trees. 

This was not an easy decision but it was made harder by the fact my decision was not supported by my husband. We had slaved in the heat, watering these trees weeding, checking for insects and I was not about to let these trees die if I could help it. 

Finally I just grabbed the spade and wheel barrow and waded into shin deep water to save these trees. 

My husband is an amputee and can't get his prosthetic wet so it was down to me. 

In lashing rain, I drove my spade into the sand slicing off roots which we had been nurturuing. I carried on the full circumference of the tree, lifting heavy wet sand away from the tree. Now knee deep in water around the tree, I began push the palm to see if it would assist me in saving it. The wet sand acted like a suction keeping the palm for itself. 

Ants and beetles which had fled up the tree to escape the rising water were now in my shirt, biting me, and leaving large welts behind. 

There were cross words spoken about me cutting through the buried  irrigation pipe, and tempers began to flare. I felt I was taking control of the situation potentially saving 5% of our better trees. We had invested a lot of time, money and effort in these trees and I didn't want to lose them. 





In the end, 16 of the 20 survived replanting and are doing well. We have now made mounds of soil  in the land which is likely to flood and planted atop these. 

When we initially bought our land, there had been an unprecedented amount of rainfall, or so we were told. People in their 50s said they had never seen it so high. When we had our land leveled, we neglected to find the high water line and this resulted in our problem. Now with our mounds, we have a solution, although it isn't the ideal one. Once the trunks are mature they will be able to withstand a couple of months standing in water. 
Having an Action Plan. 
Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing? If we had made some critical decision earlier, we would have saved ourselves some of these headaches. 
I think these are a few things to take into consideration in a crisis situation.

  • Act quickly: Action wins out every time. If something needs fine tuning afterwards then do it. 
  • Work as a team: Second guessing the decision doesn't help, once a decision is made, do it fast. Support is crucial.
Once the crisis is over that is the time to reassess and plan for the next unforeseen incident. 

 


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