Monday, January 11, 2016
Farmers Are Optimists
In an often cynical world I have to say that I find the farming community as a whole to be pretty optimistic. If we weren't we'd quit when things get tough, we'd never be able to continue after a natural disaster wipes out all your work or a hail storm destroys your harvest. And yet farmers just assess the damage, sigh, and get back to work. Okay, we do complain about the weather a lot because it's one crucial variable of farming we can't control, but apart from that I think we're good.
Here's how my day went. Around midnight we were checking that things were still okay because the winds had picked up into the 80-100 kph gust range. The greenhouse on the house was flapping so I thought we might have problems but it was fine. However Steves 6am check found the other lovely shelter on the barn was horrifically mangled.
You can see that one post and anchor block were dug out of the ground by the force. The rest of them had the flange plates literally ripped off. The bee hives were blown apart and scattered and the glass door smashed in. However all is not lost! Steve was able to find and save a few bees so he's got the hives back together. I'll make some food for the poor things. Our friends Becky and Colby stopped in for moral support and to help me take the frame apart. Now it's in nice neat piles and can most likely be welded. The door still needs replacing but it's blocked off for now and I'll get a board nailed over it tonight. And the gate, well, we can now improve on our gate design because it's toast and I'll need to build a new one. I have some ideas and I'll re-use the hardware. I'll have a new post hole dug in the spring and then we will hang it. Oh and the clear tarp cover is still usable which is pretty amazing.
The kids have been helping with chores and clean-up. There's siding blown all over the place and we need to fill the wood bins inside the house as well as the usual chores. It was really warm last night so we let the fire go out and it was a great chance to shovel out the ashes and clean the wood stove before the weather turns cold again. It's gone from plus 10 Celsius to plus 1 and flurries this afternoon so I suspect we will be back to our regularly scheduled Winter tonight. It'll actually be good because the warm and wet weather melted all the snowpack and now the rivers are quite swollen. Another couple of inches and our river will breach the southern bank. The house is fine though, we're on high ground.
Kate's night to cook supper is tonight so we're getting tater tot casserole (a version of her smiley casserole) and roast squash with Brussels sprouts. She's the cook, who am I to argue? Everyone has to start cooking at some point and she has her favourite recipes. Root vegetables should be a much more important part of people's winter diets I think. And here I would also include apples. Local Cortlands are currently on sale for $4 #10 bag so we stock up and put apples in a storage tub with slightly damp sawdust. Kept in the addition they don't freeze and will stay fresh for a long while. It's worth it to me to do the extra work if it means we have fresh local apples to eat.
Well. There's my day. It started badly, but you just have to pick up the pieces, figure out how to prevent it in future if you can (have metal flanges on the anchor posts) and then continue on. Friends helped clean up, and my bestie took me out for a two hour trip to town for some errands and lunch to cheer me up, and our family all pulled together. So yes, I'd say we're optimistic that this is going to be a good year for our farm, despite the setbacks.