When star photographer Sam Hodgson and I were out surveying damage yesterday, we followed a dirt road behind 4S Ranch through some torched hills. Near an avocado grove that was burned Monday, we saw some workers sawing a plastic pipe. Sandra Broussard, a woman standing nearby, said she works for the farmer.
|Several workers try to restore water to Bill Brammer’s organic farm.|
She said the farm was the home farm for Be Wise Ranch, an organic ranch that’s been there since 1977 and is a supplier for Henry’s and Jimbo’s, among other local grocery stores. The avocados were torched, but the workers were trying to replace a length of the farm’s water system that was melted in hopes of reviving the strawberry crop around the corner.
“I hope this works,” Broussard told us. “We’ve got strawberries in the ground. We just need to see if they’re OK.”
The farmers, Bill and Marsanne Brammer, also grow tomatoes, zucchinis and cucumbers.
The home Brammer built, nestled in a citrus grove and overlooking the 20-acre strawberry patch, burned to the ground.
Soon Bill Brammer arrived and spoke to the workers in Spanglish as they worked to replace the pipe. They finally installed it, but we couldn’t tell yet if the system would work again. With a grim face, Brammer told me he thought the crop would last without water until today.