Assessment … Again

The morning is now cool, beautiful, and sunny.  Oh ya… and severely muddy.  The prairie toads have re-emerged because of the moisture and are a never ending chorus of chirping.  Basil found one last night and it was pretty hard to get her to come back in the house.  Last year she ended eating one she was playing with.

The day after yet again another monstrous hail storm meets with the usual wander and assess with the morning coffee.

1.  The chickens, as usual have pulled through unscathed.  We have one roaster that is looking a little weak but that is to be expected.  We ordered 30 in anticipation of ending up with 25 and if she doesn’t make it then so far we will have only lost one.

2.  The place is a muddy mess.  The standing water is quite a sight.  The erosion in the garden is pretty serious.  Going forward that will need to be mitigated somehow.  As Zina said last night when I was giving her the hail storm play by play, “If you would have asked me last year what our greatest challenge would have been, I would have said, lack of moisture.”   Wow.  We have had more rain than I think I’ve ever seen in Colorado and there is an 80% chance of more rain over the next two days.

3.  The garden isn’t completely gone but there is a huge amount of healing to be done.

> The eggplant have been stripped of their leaves again.  If they don’t get hit again (I know, I’m smoking hopium) then they ought to come back.                                                                                There are enough leaves left that they could recover; but they really need a break from the every other day ice poundings.

> The strawberries and asparagus should be ok.

> The newly replaced peppers also have some leaves left.  They could recover but they are pretty spindly.  The funny part about this is that many of the seedling peppers that got stripped last week are starting to grow leaves back.  We may actually have to replace the replacements with the recovered originals!

> The tomatoes are anyone’s call.  The trellises kept them upright, but they look like they are ready to throw in the towel.  Again, the only thing to do is tend them and hope the hail ends.

>The onions are pretty bad.  They were seedlings and very susceptible to bad weather.  If it ever dries out I will probably replace them with sets and see what happens.

> The 4 beds of black beans should recover.  They are about 2 1/2 inches tall and the hail didn’t knock all of their leaves off.  Again, give them a chance and they will come back.

> The sweet corn doesn’t look like it is coming up.

> The potatoes are starting to come up but the beds are pretty muddy.  Hopefully they will dry up a bit so they can continue to grow without having to worry about them getting too soggy and then rot.

So maybe (fingers crossed) we can get through this.  It sure isn’t what we thought we would be contending with.  Its always so muddy you risk falling and while it is so muddy, the bindweed gets an upper hand.  I look back on June of last year and there was no weather happening like this.  These have not only been brutal and violent storms, they have been so disheartening.  You watch as the sky explodes over the farm and think, “We did everything we could do… keep telling yourself, ‘its not your fault'”.  In nature, the back breaking work doesn’t win you any rewards.  It just means you did back breaking work that is exposed to nature.  Continue on at your peril.  Because I am a pretty stubborn mule… that is exactly what I intend to do.

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