Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Xtreme Weather Games

Today's weather was, shall we say.....interesting. Note: this is the "Iowa" interesting. If you do not know what that means - let's just say a blog entry could be made regarding its definition - so you may have to wait a while.

The day started out with high humidity and temps hitting 90 degrees F by 8:30 am. We're guessing we got to 95 or so. T and I got all of our produce needed for the afternoon picked by 8:30 - at which time our work crew arrived. Everyone did their best to get some weeding done - but as the time rolled around to 11:30 - it was clear we all needed a break/cool down. Assuming that we'd be able to come back out in the PM, we instructed everyone to leave tools in the paths for the time being.

After lunch, we worked at cleaning and preparing the produce for the CSA distribution AND managed to get it done efficiently. Good job crew! T & I were on our way on time to Waverly to the market.... But, as we drove there we noted the increased clouds and the formations that can only mean t-storms. Sure enough, as we pulled into Waverly, we heard about possible severe storms heading into the area by about - oh - 4:00. Not good since the distribution runs from 3:30-6:00.

To make a potentially long story less long. The front edge of the storm arrived at 4:10 in Waverly. R held onto the pop-up tent while T helped the other vendors pack up. We pulled ours down just prior to winds that would have been interested in flying our popup to some place other than where we were at that moment. The initial poofs of wind were pretty intense and we ended up with eye-fulls of dust and debris, etc. There was a bit of a calm where a few more people picked up their shares - then the horizontal rains hit. Neat.

We spent some time in the cab of the pickup - yes, the pickup did move around a bit in winds we estimated to be around 60-65mph. Fun.

Happily, after a few phone calls to remind a few people that we were still there with our produce, we were able to leave at 6pm with all but two shares picked up. Neat and fun!

Our return to the farm showed us that the storm had hit there as well. One of our cold frames was out by the barn. No, that's NOT where it was when we left. The clothes line was down and most of the clothes pins had been stripped off of it. R found one clothes pin about 50 feet from the line. One of our plant covers rolled about 100 feet (over some of our crops, of course). And, yes, R had to go and pick up all the tools he instructed people to leave in the path. He was already wet. But, it probably serves him right. You get the basic idea.... oh, and we left the car windows open - so if you see us get out of the car and our backsides are wet at any point in the next week or so - you know why!

The jury is still out regarding crop damage on the farm. The peas that were looking pretty good in the AM were flat and bruised. The lettuce was pretty beat up - as were most of our crops. Not likely permanent losses - but they'll have to grow out of the damage before we get much from them.

And there you have it - interesting weather.

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