Friday, May 29, 2020

And the Skies Opened Up

Well folks, it had apparently been too long since our farm has been a giant puddle.  Thursday mornings rain took care of our 'dry' conditions quite well, thank you very much.  (warning - there just MIGHT be some sarcasm in that last statement)

Actually, we already had some decent puddles on the farm, but nothing awful or unusual.  But, when you get over 3.5 inches of rain over the course of half a day AFTER there were puddles, you tend to start thinking about stocking ponds instead of raising vegetables.

Ah, lake front property!
Our neighbor's field to the West was pretty much under water.  But, his tiling system will likely drain it out before the field corn sees any damage.  But, it does make for a dramatic picture.

Raised beds in Eden save the crop, but...
 Once again, Eden had water seeping in via the water table, but our raised beds appear to done their job.  Unfortunately, it did mean that Rob had to stand in mud to harvest today's spinach.  Let's just say it adds to the level of difficulty and leave it at that.

The swale south of Valhalla almost did its job.
 The swales got their first real test.  Unfortunately, we do not have plants established in the swales, so there will be some erosion we'll have to put back to rights.  In other years, this entire field would be UNDER water.  Now the area at left is mostly out of the water.  We'll call this a partial success.

Is that wheelbarrow well over half-full?  Yep.
 The total rainfall for the past couple days is closer to five + inches - nicely accumulated in the wheelbarrow above.

We still need to figure this out.
 This is the area East of the field with the swale we showed above.  We're ok if this is where the water wants to go as long as we don't create a stagnant semi-permanent pond here.  I think we could potentially hollow this out a bit more so it doesn't spread back into the field or the high tunnel.  We shall see.

Same field, other direction.
Why did I take all of these pictures?  Well, if I am trying to build waterways to direct water, I need photo reminders so I can make adjustments (or get help making adjustments).  What?  Did you think I was enjoying taking these?

The moat by Valhalla
 Our ditches on either side of Valhalla continue to do their job.  Ideally, I'd like to give them a gentler slope someday.  But, we don't have time to mess with something that appears to be working.

So, how are the East fields?  I asked... knowingly.
 The East fields definitely were going to have problems.  Part of the issue is that we took out the old paths so we could work on putting in swales and change the orientation of the fields.  It's a project that is in-progress.  All that means is that the water could wreak more havoc.  Alas.  But, the lone swale did its best to do its job.

Aw, poor birds.
The real issue that Tammy and I were on the way to dealing with was the flooding that was effecting our broiler flocks on pasture.  We have two such flocks - and one had four inches of water in it.   Tammy and I had a significant amount of fun (note.. .sarcasm meter is going crazy again).  We tried moving the building, but gave that up for a bad job.  Instead, we brought out pallets and straw - making a bedding area.  Then we picked up each of the birds and put them on that until the water receded.  We know we lost eight birds to hypothermia and will likely lose three or four more. 

I had made a joke earlier in the week about both of us getting our first official 'soaking' of Spring when we dashed out to close high tunnels and close up birds as a storm approached.  It did not take us long to go from "gee, it's been a while since that happened" to "Oh no!  Not again!"

Ah well!  It wouldn't be our farm if we weren't all wet now would it? 

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