LAWRENCE, Kan. — On Wednesday, 150 volunteers, including several from competing area nurseries, cleared out debris and started to tear down five leveled greenhouses at Pendleton Country Market after a powerful EF-4 tornado came through a day earlier.
“I came in here this morning, and there were tomatoes all over the floor,” Karen Pendleton said.
It’s the second time the family business has pretty much been leveled. A microburst came through in 2006. But what’s keeping the husband and wife going is all the support.
“You just feel good about humanity when you listen to so much of the news and people are fighting about politics then something like this happens. People are good,” Pendleton said.
The owners of One Heart Farm and Nursery in Lawrence saw the damage to Pendleton’s and announced 25% of the rest of their season’s sales will be donated to help rebuild the tornado-ravaged business.
“They lost everything, so as far as I’m concerned it’s not that much,” One Heart co-owner Pete Flory said.
“We want to help them continue on into the future and as our neighbors and as somebody we look up to in the community,” Chris Black said.
Continuing on will be a tough decision.
Farmers already have to deal with droughts and floods. Now they have to deal with a tornado that also damaged some of the transplants they planned to plant in the field.
But for now they are concentrating on things like fulfilling flower orders for summer weddings and serving the customers who showed up Wednesday to try to keep them in business.
Pendleton is also keeping a positive attitude about the sales they can have.
“We decided that all green tomatoes this year are called ‘tormatoes,'” she joked.