Fall is coming. The sun is setting farther and farther into the south. Soon it will be time to compost, fertilize, and cover the beds and put the garden to sleep for the winter.
What other person do you know who on her birthday would be out cutting wheat by hand? My wonderful wife, when we heard that the farmer who leased a lot of our land to plant wheat had abandoned it because of hail damage, didn’t want to leave it to simply die. After all, it might not be a good harvest for the industrial combines, but it certainly is good straw, chicken feed, and…. people feed! Right now there is over 30 acres of it just standing there.
She started messing with the idea of getting a Scythe. Not knowing much about them and not wanting to spend a ton of money should it turn out to be a dumb idea, I ordered her a sickle designed specifically to harvest wheat! What a birthday present! Anyone you know get a sickle for his/her birthday!? I’m thinking I ought never make her mad again!
So this morning out she trots into one of the wheat fields and starts hacking away! We got a couple of wagon loads; one of which we fed to the chickens and the other she is still out tying into sheafs. We watched a couple of videos on how to thresh it and process it and we may be onto something! What fun! Making our own homemade bread from wheat harvested on the farm! Whoda thunk it? Pretty sure the neighbors (conventional farmers) must think we have a serious case of the loonies.
The mountains, the moisture and the heat have been spinning up super cells out here the past couple of days. Yesterday one exploded over our farm. Today, one developed along the front range and the tornado warnings sent Zina’s entire company into the basement of the building. Out here we got warnings that yet another storm with vehicle and roof damaging hail was on the way. This time we got the truck put away and some of the plants inside. We brought up Radar Cast on the iPad and watched and waited. Today, the storm headed ENE at a crawl. Instead of the farm being ground zero, we were on the very southern edge and it missed us completely! If I had to venture a guess it only missed us by a mile or so. Hey Kansas! Watch out! This is a doozey. Weather is showing that we should expect these beasties to pop up at least through Saturday. Hopefully by then things will have dried out some. Note to self: Don’t consider trying to plant before Memorial Day weekend – even if they say the last average frost date is Mother’s Day.
Grandma and I got the entire urban garden planted today. What a job. All 24 raised beds are in and ready to grow us some tasty food! But not to get too big an ego, at the same time a storm super cell developed over the plains today. On our way out to the farm we came through a fairly intense rain storm. We got out in front of it but it was hot on our tails. We had no idea how big this would get.
I have lived in the west for a third of my life. I have seen just about every imaginable storm Colorado can blind side you with. This hail storm was one of the most intense things I have ever seen. The storm exploded over us. The hail created a complete white out and it sounded for awhile like baseballs were pounding down on our roof. The ground went white, the wind howled with at least 60 mph gusts. We couldn’t see out the front windows and it sounded for all intents and purposes that at any second the windows would shatter. I sat in the kitchen just hoping that it would pass quickly. We had two vehicles out here and I couldn’t see if they were being dented beyond repair.
One thing was for certain, all 100 plants of 5 different heirloom variety peppers were completely stripped clean of their leaves… practically a total loss. 2 days ago they were absolutely gorgeous plants just hardening off waiting to be planted outside. We don’t know if any will make it and am probably going to have to buy some seedlings if we are to have any all.
The storm past and I am happy to say that the house, the chickens, and the vehicles are all fine… so are we. If all we lost was the pepper crop, we are pretty lucky. To all wondering if the windbreak fences would hold up…. all are standing and doing fine.
Let the peppers be a reminder that we are nothing and nature doesn’t care. Perseverance is the watchword for famers in climate 2.0. I don’t usually cuss on this blog, but holy shit this was an intense storm.
We are once again mudded in and need to wait for all to drain. Hopefully soon we will have our 200 yard drive filled in with recycled asphalt. What an adventure.
Oh ya…. and this couldn’t be the reason right?