This a question now familiar to every Californian. It is a question particularly familiar to the staff at Luther Glen Farm, as we have evacuated camp twice in the last five weeks.
When the Apple Fire worked its way through the canyons of Cherry Valley and ultimately ended its march about a mile east of the farm, we figured we had paid our dues. The El Dorado Fire was much less discreet. The flames broke out at a local nature preserve, then continued around Potato Canyon and into the mountains above camp. At its closest, the fire came within 50 yards of our property.
Though the farm wasn’t burned, the hills around us will look significantly altered for years to come. We continue to be grateful to the firefighters who protected all the properties around us. We are thankful to animal control and volunteers who ushered us in to rescue our goats. And we give thanks to First Lutheran Church in Redlands for being our staff and animal evacuation home during the fires.
Both fires left a financial burden. The electricity was off and our refrigerated food had to be thrown away. This includes a whole season of farm produce which had been packaged and frozen for future guests. The loss from both fires was in the thousands of dollars.
We are asking for your help. To see that we never waste food again, each camp needs to install a permanent generator. This project is almost complete at El Camino Pines, and just beginning at Luther Glen Farm. The total cost will be $6000; and, the first $2000 given will be matched by First Lutheran Church in Redlands. As we often have several thousands of dollars worth of food being stored at each camp, investing in these generators will eventually save money!
We are also grateful to Pastor Dennis & Phyllis Laherty, who have donated a temporary generator capable of powering the retreat center refrigerators. Thank you for keeping up with us and checking in. We send our prayers to all the first responders fighting fires in the West.