So we've had a bit of weather down here.
We knew it was coming. Let's not forget that I live with a die-hard weather geek with a paid up membership to The Australian Severe Weather Association, with the Bureau of Meteorology as his homepage and many degrees of weather alerts on his iPhone. Without wishing to minimalise the very serious effects of storm damage, extreme weather is a passion of Adam's, whose ideal holiday would be chasing a storm somewhere.
So when it sounded like the roof was about to come off at 3am on Sunday morning, there was Ad on his iPad tracking the centre of it right over Gerringong and Kiama. It wasn't a small wind. Not really understanding what I was looking at, the big red cell right over the top of us was kinda clear. My parents weren't on the farm, but were staying in their caravan just an hour north. On the coast. We hoped they were tied down.
The trees nearest the house sounded like they were shrieking and the rain crashed against the windows sideways. We worried about the animals. The chickens all out in the paddock, damn free range pastured farmers that we are. The baby broiler chickens in the hayshed. The pigs. I tried not to think about the vegies. After all, a garden is just a garden.
After half an hour of unabated crazy storm, Adam suited up and went out into the night. He came back in to tell me the chicken caravan was actually holding up OK, it was all shut up and in a relatively protected paddock. The brooder box in the hayshed was getting wet thanks to the sideways rain so he'd covered it, but the piglets were up to their necks in water and needed moving immediately. The new paddock up near the water tank wasn't finished, not yet fenced, we thought about putting the piglets into the fixed chicken yard, under the roosts, but in the end he upturned an enormous plastic tank in the hayshed, put a bedding of hay in it, put a gate across it and one by one carried the six piglets up from the paddock and into safety. He put a pallet under the shelter in the paddock for mama pig, covered it with hay and she climbed up on it straight away. They stayed seperated until morning when he took the piglets back down. They stayed in the muddy pen for a day until they could be moved up to the new accommodation this morning. It's a great new shelter designed and built by Adam, with paddocks which will radiate out around it, so the pigs can keep moving to fresh grass.
In the end there was very little damage. A tree down in the coffee. Debris. A broken window in the workshop. Mud. The tomatoes got it in the neck and all split, but the capsicums all made it. Waiting for red capsciums is a lesson in patience for me. Then yesterday, the first blush of red!
And look! today! So obviously once they start to turn they go gangbusters.
We've got grass galore. Knee deep.
There's pumpkins on the vine.
And turnips on the rise.
And next to the climbing bean frame I just made out of bana grass, Ivy found a wheelbarrow that I'd forgotten to leave turned over. It was chock full of water. And so on Sunday afternoon, while I was busy tying up beanshoots which had taken a bit of a hammering, she got herself undressed and in the wheelbarrow full of water. Of course. Because how much fun is that?!
And I'm pretty sure split cherry tomatos will still make great sauce.
I hope you weathered the storm if you're around here. Mum and Dad were fine in their caravan and yes I've overturned the barrow so no small child can come to harm in it.
I'm grateful we still have our roof and grateful for the full water tanks and lush green grass. So much grass. I think we need some cows.