There is something to be said about being prepared for the things you least expect to happen – especially when it comes to Mother Nature and her temperament. After a night of baseball sized hail, 3-inches of rain and near 70 mile per hour winds, I learned this lesson well.
Being our first official year as 25 Acres, growing produce with the intent to sell, the weather forecast was crucial to the success of my business. No rain meant I need to water, frost warnings indicated a need to cover tender plantings, birds and deer interested in my berries and melons would require netting or fencing. I thought I was used to the tug and pull of Mother Nature.
Our most recent storm was a prime example of the stark reality of Mother Nature’s power, expecting the unexpected and being accepting of situations totally of my control. I was as prepared as I could have been. The lawns were mowed, random beginnings of the harvest season were harvested, the greenhouse was battened down and the birds were secured along with their food, water & heat lamp needs. I did all that I could.
When the rain started, I was thankful. The garden needed it. When the dime sized hail came, I held my breath that it would be the worst of it. Then suddenly, my attitude went all out of kilter.
The hail had grown in size to a golfball and onward to baseball sized chunks – at that point, it was all out of my hands. The garden would sustain damage as would the greenhouse and anything else in its path. There was nothing I could do to change that fact.
Acceptance was perhaps the largest lesson in all of this. As the rains turned to a downpour and the hail departed I could only pray and accept whatever came next. I held myself back from peering out the window towards the greenhouse because I expected tremendous damages. It was what it was.
Then, the winds came. 70 miles per hour of pure, brutal force. Ripping and tearing at the remnants of our rain and hail beaten gardens.
Again, I only had one choice – to accept it for what it was. I could only wait out the night to survey the damage in the morning. Of course being the worrier I am, I didn’t sleep well. My mind went into overdrive imagining what I’d be waking up to. Would there be anything left to salvage? Was there time to replant? Would there even be a harvest?
My plans had all but went up in smoke. In fact, they came screaming to an explosive halt as they made impact with the ground and spontaneously combusted. I was crushed. The only plan I could conceivably make now was to move forward…somehow.
The morning brought with it small moments of relief. The greenhouse was still standing because I was prepared. It paid to be prepared!
Although the greenhouse had minor damage (hail dents and warped panels), I was so thankful to have enough forethought to have purchased one built to withstand winds of 65 miles per hour. Not only that, this past spring we added 12, 14-inch ground anchors. Before the storm hit I tightly closed all the vents and secured the doors. It was one small victory!
While our gardens were pummeled by hail, torrential rains and strong winds – they were alive! I wasn’t left with mere stumps as my mind had lead me to imagine. Yes, the sweet corn was blown sideways at an angle, holes were found in many leaves, large hail-eaten chunks were missing from my cabbages and apples were shaken from trees. Baseball sized holes were everywhere in the yard and gardens. BUT – many main stems were still intact.
This brought me to my second revelation – Mother Nature is resilient. Even though she may dish out some pretty bad stuff, Ms. Nature is also very well acquainted with the strength it takes to come back and overcome.
With plenty of TLC I do hope my gardens will make a triumphant comeback. Those dents and dings now found all over our farm will be a great reminder of how fortunate we are to be able to do what we do. And, just like that great Law, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. You take the bad in order to appreciate the good.
In the end, things could have been worse. No life or limb was lost here which sadly, has not been the case for some who suffered through this storm. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who suffered far more than my reality…our damage was minor considering.