‘Holy’ grain saved; barn raising starts

The fire that struck the Martens family farm recently could have been devastating to a family less optimistic than Klaas & Mary-Howell. Drawing inspiration from their faith, their family, the supportive community around them, and the mercy of Providence, they keep seeing the blessings in the midst of what could have been a disaster for them if they were alone.

Firstly, they reported that the bin containing the spelt they grew and harvested for the orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, was untouched despite being right in the firestorm for an extended time.

There are strict and precise scripturally-based rules for producing “schmurah matzoh” for the Passover Seder. “One drop of rain is enough to make an entire load not suitable for making the matzoh,” says Klaas. “The grain must be physiologically mature but may not be damaged or sprouted at all.” The harvest equipment must be undercover and the bin be closed by sundown. The combine, trucks, wagons, and the harvested grain must be within the sight of a Rabbi or someone qualified and continuously watched. Then the grain bin must be locked and sealed.

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