Littlepage Farms Laura recovery

Suffered significant structural damage and crop loss
Published: Sep. 13, 2020 at 12:09 AM CDT
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COLFAX, La. (KALB) - Littlepage Farms is a Grant Parish staple. Co-owner Kathy Littlepage explained pecans are their specialty. Her family’s farm legacy is older than a century. She’s been a part of it her whole life.

“We haven’t had...being so far inland you don’t expect winds like that,” Littlepage said. “We just didn’t expect Laura to give us such a punch.”

Her father spent his entire lifetime grafting and developing varieties of pecans that would taste good as well as be efficient producers. So, Littlepage Farms has a lot of different varieties. Littlepage is a retired agricultural science teacher. Since retiring, she’s focused on her family’s farm. Everything ran smoothly until Hurricane Laura.

“We saw limbs, trees, and pecans all blowing across this property.”

It’s the strongest storm to hit Colfax since Hurricane Audrey in 1957. Laura caused significant damage to Littlepage Farm’s century-old buildings. “It’s hard to watch, but we’re optimistic we’re going to rebuild replant. We’ll do the best we can.”

A combination of large trees filled with heavy pecans fell victim to the storm. Laura’s winds made power lines wrap up in those trees.

“We don’t know what varieties will have survived this storm, but we’re just keeping our fingers crossed that some of our Precious Elliots survived and that some of our larger varieties survived.” Like many others, she waited until she had restored electricity to her farm. Because of power line workers, she was able to save last year’s frozen crop.

“Big shout out to the power line people they really helped us and they were very diligent.”

After the storm, her family’s legacy can now continue.

“My brother and his crew are picking up limbs and cutting the broken limbs. Once you get the broken limbs out of the trees then the trees can begin to recover.”

It’s a reminder that mother nature does her job.

“Trees are very resilient. They will put on leaves and they’ll put on new limbs, and they’ll fill in the gaps and it won’t be long before you won’t be able to tell that they were damaged in any way.”

Littlepage explained she’s open to suggestions about what to do with the relics that remain.

“We ended up with a lot of damage to our tin roof buildings. Many of them are well over 50 years old. Some of them like the store is over 100 years old, so they were not able to sustain that wind damage.”

She continued, “If anybody’s got any ideas about what we can do with some of this antique vintage equipment that is now kind of open to the elements because the barns and the sheds are damaged beyond repair, we’d love to have some ideas.”

Colfax annually hosts the Pecan Festival, but due to COVID-19 and the storm, things are canceled. Littlepage said she still plans to celebrate pecan season and the festival in some way. Littlepage Farms is a Colfax Farmers Market member.

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