Saturday, July 12, 2014

hope and destruction


We had an incredibly powerful ice/wind/thunderstorm roll through earlier this week. It left the fruit trees stripped of their leaves, the garden completely decimated. Two nests of duck eggs in the tall grass were abandoned just a week before hatching out. It looks like a tornado came through. It's taken me a few days to even be able to walk into the garden. It's just so sad looking!

Ten minutes of severe weather has undone a seasons' worth (and in some cases, years' worth) of work.

It's hard not to look at all this and just feel defeated and devastated, if I'm honest about it. It's humbling, to say the least.

And yet...




I have two does to milk, garlic braids from last week's harvest (over 100 big, beautiful bulbs this year!), and a fierce and brave mama duck still sitting on her nest. And a will that I've determined to be stronger than even the forces of nature. I'm planting seeds again this weekend, and there's hope in that - for a fall garden now. I'm also hoping that the local farms at the market weren't hit as hard, and I can pick up some beautiful summer bounty from them this season.


Before the storm, we did enjoy a few meals of fresh mixed salad greens. So, so good!


And I made this rhubarb meringue pie, which looks good enough, but was just so-so. My meringues need practice, I think.


And then, after the storm, there's always consolation in the form of cake. Lots and lots of cake.   

18 comments:

  1. How upsetting! I am so pleased that one mama duck managed to sit tight on her nest, but so sorry to hear that your fruit trees have suffered so badly. Thank heavens for cake! (and that fabulous garlic harvest) I really hope that things recover and that next week is wonderful and storm free! Take care

    H
    xxx

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  2. I always feel grateful to be whole after storms like that. Are your does Dwarf Nigerians? I am starting some doelings this year. How much milk to you get from each? Just curious.

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    1. Amen to that! Yes, both that I'm milking now are Nigerians, each giving almost a pint each day (that's with milking twice a day). "Spring" is larger and gave more last year after freshening, I'd say closer to a quart every day, but we've milked her through (so, she didn't kid this year) and her production is dropping I think. "Luna" is our younger one, but she's a tiny thing!

      I love the high butterfat content of the Nigerian's milk and the fact that they are easily handled, especially around my young kids, but I'm finding this year that we need more milk than a quart each day! So, I've actually been looking at some standard size goats lately. We'll see....good luck with your doelings!

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    2. Thank you! My sons drink three gallons of cow's milk a week. I might just be with you on that bigger goat train!

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  3. I'm soooo sorry! I live in Denver, and I've lost my fair share of gardens (and roofs, and windows, and siding, etc.) to the hail monster. This year has been so crazy that I've been building all sorts of contraptions out of old screens, hardware cloth and various other things to protect the garden. But I fear I'm getting too old to keep playing the "Quick! Run and cover the garden before it's too late!" game, so I'm actually considering building some sort of a semi-permanent hail shelter for at least some of the summer plants.

    I'm looking at getting one of those portable greenhouses that they sell on Amazon for around $150 and covering the frame with hardware cloth or small mesh chicken wire. I could use the cover that comes with it in the early spring and late fall to extend the growing season, and the rest of the time it could just be a "hail house." I just have to figure out how to secure it to the ground so it doesn't get blown away in a big storm. Part of me thinks I'm crazy, because there's no way to shelter the whole garden, but if I could make at least a small part of it "hail-proof" I think I'd feel better about all the time I put into it.

    Anyhow, I'm pullin' for you, and for that mama duck.

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  4. I do understand how you feel... but don't feel defeated, there's always another hope for tomorrow:) We also had a strange weather this summer in Bulgaria...lots of heavy rain and thunderstorm! Everyone's grapevines got affected with sandy rain! No grapes this year. A friend with a vast vineyard won't have any either but he is not bothered...so we, who only grow a dozen vines, have no reason to get upset...Oh well, we'll wait again for next year:) Cheer up...I'm hoping for better things to come for you too:)

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  5. Poor you! Every year there's something to test our resolve as gardeners isn't there! At least we're not totally dependant on our crops like our ancestors would have been. Next year will be better (I say that every year!)

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    1. Thanks, Kev. I think about that a lot actually - how we would've been deceased many times over if we truly had to rely only on ourselves in these times!

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  6. Oh, Jaime, that is terrible! We have been lucky, in that the really bad storms have gone north or south of us - but there is always the chance. I'm glad you're hopeful and planting again. Your poor fruit trees will recover and then there is the brave mama duck! Best of luck to you and your family - I hope for a wonderful fall garden!

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  7. Oh no, so sorry to hear it. We've been lucky here (knocking on wood right now). I drove home from DIA in it the other night and that was some scary driving. My apple tree is dying, but not from hail and that is just as sad, like you said, years of work/waiting down the tubes this year. I"m glad one mama duck stuck it out. Good for her!

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  8. Oh, Jaime. My heart dropped when I read this ~ I'm so sorry to hear of the destruction. I'm glad you're safe, but it's such a blow when everything you've worked for in the garden is wiped out. Your poor fruit trees! Are you able to get anything from local producers of where they all totally wiped out as well?

    I can't imagine that duck sitting through a storm like that - what a Mama!

    Your cake looks like soothing solace... big hugs, Jaime XO

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    1. Thank you, friend. I'm finding I can still get some local produce. Our little area was hit the hardest according to a couple people I've talked with. But, we are safe and all the animals made it through, so that put things in perspective for sure! (And the bees! The hive is getting taller and taller, so they've survived two disasters in less than a year!)

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  9. Oh, how terrible....what a blow. I admire your tenacity. Plant again. Try again. That's good stuff. Still, what a bummer. I'm sorry to hear it. Your garlic, on the other hand, is amazing. What lovely braids and heads! Ours this year was pitifully small as that what our crop most dealt a blow by the forces of nature. Oh well, there is next year. Maybe I'll go console myself with cake (there are still a dozen frosted-ready-to-eat cupcakes in the freezer from the wedding), too. :) I hope things pull together and the fall garden gets more of a chance to grow into maturity.

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  10. Mother Nature at times is so cruel but we must remember that we can recover and enjoy what small blessings are left for us. Love, Light and Sunshine Dear One

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  11. A very big Thank You to all of you for your kindness in lifting my spirits. I was sulking quite a bit for a few days about the garden (which everyone around me found a little funny, since our house was also hit pretty hard - and here I am more concerned about the tomato plants than the roof ;) Call me crazy, but I think the plants are better insurance than any home owners' policy!)

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  12. "Eat Cake"...it has the ability to calm the frazzled nerves. I'm glad you and family are all OK. I know, from experience, how it feels to lose the blooms from fruit trees. It is a year's worth of planning that is gone with one short storm.

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