Farmers still picking up the pieces after Typhoon Mangkhut - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Farmers still picking up the pieces after Typhoon Mangkhut

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A month after Typhoon Mangkhut, many of the island's farmers are still picking up the pieces and slowly recovering.  

Typhoon Mangkhut's heavy winds and rain definitely packed a punch, dealing a devastating blow to many of our island's farmers. Roland Santos, Farm Manager with Farm to Table said they suffered damagem with many of their fruit trees fell in a domino-like effect. "An avocado tree fell on our sour sop tree. Our sour sop tree on a catagan bush so a lot of it is pretty much clean up of all of those trees and debris," he told KUAM News.

Much of the staff and volunteer's time has been spent collecting wood and turning it into mulch and compost, which will help in the re-build of their once thriving plantation of produce. "A lot of our greens suffered heavy damage from the winds," Santos added.

"We had over a 100 banana trees on the plantation and all of them pretty much had gotten knocked down. That is where we took the brunt of damage - we had several that were ready to be harvested but they weren't ready to be picked yet but the typhoon pretty much took that away from us."

For the Mangilao farm, it wasn't just crops that were destroyed, there was structural damage as well. Santos said, "We had shade structures that protected a lot of the greens from the heat, but unfortunately the whole shade structure had fallen."

Santos admits, the recovery process has been slow with uncooperative weather and the most recent tropical storm winds. He said, "We take one step forward with the cleanup, we get another storm coming in, and that produces more mess. Recovery mode is definitely slow at the moment but that's something that we are going to have to deal with. There is no way of controlling nature, it's just something we've got to get through."

And as a result of Mangkhut, Farm to Table's weekly community subscription boxes took a two-week break, as he explained, "A lot of our partner farmers had said that they weren't going to have any produce until mid-October, but after we took the two-week break, we started to see people starting to produce again so we're producing cucumbers again so we're really happy to see them starting to produce again just like us."

According to Santos, Farm to Table like many other farmers filed their structural damages and plant losses with Department of Agriculture and is awaiting response to see what kind of support they can get.

"All we need to do is keep planting and keep growing. So that's our main goal," he shared, "We're taking it one step at a time, day by day and that's pretty much it."

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