Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Unexpected help, and learning from the sun.

Well, to say it was a bit windy last night would be an understatement. The Lady of the House described it as sounding like a hurricane in terms of wind. The tarps over the wood piles blew off, and some pieces of wood were 30 + feet away where they'd been catapulted off the tarps. That said, this tree at the mouth of the driveway isn't the one I'd expected to go down. As you can see, it covered the entire base of the driveway. I started off by clearing the chunks of wood, and branches
off the driveway. As I was set to deal with the trunk, one of the folks who lives in town stopped and helped out. I guess he saw me working to clear the debris, and backed up to stop at the base of the driveway. He grabbed his chainsaw, cut the trunk into pieces and helped me clear it out of the driveway. It was amazingly helpful, and definitely reminded me of the really good things about living where I do. I probably could have gotten the tree cleared out of the way, but it would have taken a long time, or I'd have hurt myself in the process. Dean stopping to help out made all the difference in the day, and took him about 3 minutes because he had the right tools for the job.

One of the things that's been interesting about watching snow melt over the years is how much it tells me about my growing areas. You'd think you'd learn more about your growing areas by growing in them, but with snow melt I can really see where the sun hits much better. Certainly, during the summer it's a bit different, but you can see where the shade sits, and where the ground is warmed more consistently by the sun. For example, right up at the top of the front hill you can see that the snow is completely melted, where as down the terraces there is still snow in every garden bed. Some of that could easily enough be wind blowing snow off, but most of it is the exposure to sun by being exclusively South facing instead of South East facing as the terraced beds are. The terraced beds work out fine during the summer, but it does remind me that I should plant more sun craving plants in the ridge line beds more than the South East slope beds. More of a big reminder than that though is just how different the situation on the South facing ridge slope behind the house, and the terraced beds are at this point.
If you take a look Right you can see the front terraced slope, and the ridge line both. It reminds me that there's a reason I really wanted to get that slope terraced. Look how clear that is right now, even with everything else showing snow at least a bit. I don't know if I'm going to have the time and energy to get it terraced, but if I can it would make a huge difference to the amount of space we have to grow in. That's a very steep slope so if it isn't terraced growing there will be a major challenge. Either way, a good reminder, and an interesting way to learn. Yet another way my environment teaches me in new and unexpected ways.


  1. You've discovered a great deal. All of it positive! I too have learned that farm life is a continual learning process!

    1. The more we learn, the more we are ready to learn.

  2. I am good friends with the Barefoot Farmer Jeff Poppen here in TN. He has published two books on farming organic and in all the conditions you deal with. I'd be happy to send you a copy of his work.