Devastation....and The Kindness of Strangers

Black Sheep Creamery Farm - Chehalis, Washington
December 2007

Remember the horrible rains we had back in December?

Flooded streets and swollen riverbanks meant people were digging mud out of their homes for months. In fact, some...are still trying to recover.
Local artisan cheesemaker, Black Sheep Creamery, is one of the farmers affected by those December floods. Water cascaded into their cheese cave...bringing with it a torrent of mud and muck. The barn suddenly filled with water, trapping their prized sheep. Sadly, they lost the bulk of their herd.

Home Sweet Home

When the family returned from safety, they found a sea of mud...

On the Black Sheep Creamery website, there are more photos....and a poignant journal, began before the flood. It's a great read about farm life...and beginning in January it includes a personal account of trying to recover from the devastation.

I was particularly moved by a woman who was dubbed, "The Crockpot Queen." They never did learn her name, but in the days following the flood, the family would find hot meals delivered to their home:

"January 7, 2008 The Crock Pot lady saved my families stomach’s tonight. I was out and about doing all sorts of errands and getting things done . I had just spoken to Brad to fill him in on yet another mind-numbing detail of things to do. I had asked him what we should have for dinner....Woo Hoo when I got home there on the hood of the truck in the garage was a gift from the Crock Pot Queen. We do not know her name, all she says is that she is a former neighbor and she brought us a crock pot with soup. Then she brought a casserole, and now more crock pot meals and goodies on top of that....

Thank you your Highness of the Crock Pot. I love those things, they hold good food, ease of use and now, in my mind, they hold a whole lot of respect for someone who has taken the time and trouble to cook and deliver her fine meals. People are like that. People amaze me.

We have received anonymous donations from incredible people who are happy to give with no strings attached. Who are just amazing to me. I wonder if we have even met???? We have had incredible gifts from so many people far and wide hoping to help the business prosper, or to fund a replacement ewe. We plan to be back up and running as soon as we can. We will make it back only through the help we have received from so many people, churches, organizations and cooperatives. People are incredible.

It had been a difficult day today. I finally wept, not just shed a few tears but wept."

Look for Black Sheep Creamery cheese at DeLaurenti, Whole Foods, and Beecher's.

And if you're in the Seattle Area, On Friday, May 2nd, Beecher's will team with the Pike Place Market's The Tasting Room to host a Cheese 101 class with 100% of the proceeds going to Black Sheep Creamery and their efforts.

Cheese 101 : Introduction to Artisan Cheese
Friday May 2nd
6pm to 8:30pm
$50 (all proceeds benefit Black Sheep)

To Register: