WINTERSET, Iowa — Two months have passed since an EF-4 tornado touched down in Madison County and devastated PepperHarrow Farm in Winterset, but the farm’s owners refuse to let the damage damper their spirits
“We’re remaining positive, trying to keep that mentality that it’s one step at a time,” said PepperHarrow Farm owner Jenn O’Neal. “It’s okay. Recovery doesn’t have to happen fast. We’re on a journey here and just putting one foot in front of the other.”
The O’Neals are in the process of rebuilding part of PepperHarrow, most notably their lavender distilling work space. However, they say the cold and wet spring has become as much of a set back in recovery as the tornado itself.
O’Neal said they have thought of new ways to keep the farm productive while dealing with the collateral damage of the tornado.
“We’re trying to be a little bit more creative this year. We have potted plants, cut flower starts, and little things we’ve never had in the past,” O’Neal said. “Some of our lavender products are also going to help us bridge the gap between not having quite as many flowers as we typically have this time of year.”
O’Neal said they are making progress in rebuilding and replanting. They say the donations to their GoFundMe after the storm went a long way into their recovery, and are thankful to everyone who donated.
PepperHarrow will be at opening weekend for the Des Moines farmers market this Saturday.