WAYNESVILLE, N.C. — Bill Holbrook is the latest in a long line – six generations worth – of farmers at Cold Mountain Farm. Tropical Storm Fred drowned his entire crop last week, evoking memories of the 2004 hurricane season.

“I remember coming out here and saying, ‘What am I going to do now?’” 75-year-old Holbrook said. “But you just start cleaning and it takes months to get it cleaned up.”

What You Need To Know

  • Bill Holbrook, 75, had his entire crop drowned by Tropical Storm Fred

  • He's the latest of six generations of farmers at Cold Mountain

  • He has insurance and will recover over time

  • Holbrook's children have no plans to take over the farm if and when he decides to stop farming

He was about three weeks away from harvesting a new crop of green peppers. Holbrook grows his crops and then sells them, mainly to restaurants. But now, the flooded field is littered with ripe red peppers and waterlogged seedlings.

“Here’s a green pepper after we pick them,” he said, showing off a young pepper plant. “And then, after so long, it turns red. There is a red pepper to grow, but (green) is what goes into the salads at restaurants and stuff.”

His entire field is a total loss, and he has some damage to his farmhouse and greenhouse as well. When his farm was damaged in 2004, legislators helped bring aid to Waynesville to support the city’s recovery effort. Holbrook made the plea to them again this year.

“Come look at our losses,” he said. “Not only the agriculture, but the whole community. Home, roads, bridges, loss of life.”

Holbrook does have crop insurance, so he’ll be able to recover somewhat financially.

With it being a family farm, Spectrum News 1 asked if his children might take the farm over after the flood.

“No, that’s probably not going to happen,” Holbrook said with a small grin. “They got their lives to live, and I understand that, it’s OK.”

After two floods and six generations, the family farm might be seeing its last days of operation by Holbrook hands.

But Holbrook says he’s at peace with this, and plans to keep farming as long as he’s alive.