when it rains



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?!


Ivy splash

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. 


12 Comments on “when it rains

February 26, 2013 at 12:44 am

Hee hee – gotta love how little people are so drawn to water. Funny old thing, this blogging. Of course I don’t personally know you, but really enjoy reading of your exploits and not hardly knowing much of mainland Australia or anyone in it, then your name has become (in my mind), synonymous with the Illawara! So have been thinking of you in your little patch of paradise whenever you are mentioned on the ABC weather forecast and glad you weren’t washed away!

February 26, 2013 at 8:11 am

I’ve been wondering you guys fared after hearing the news. Pleased you came through it! Cows would be perfect, we are just starting to hand feed as it has been dry dry dry and we have no grass. What a funny country! Xxx

Darren (Green Change)
February 26, 2013 at 8:37 am

We slept through the storm. There was not much wind in our little valley, just a good drenching rain. The power went out for a few hours as well.

Then I drove into Jamberoo. Wow! Trees down, roofs busted, roads closed, firies and SES people and handy residents eveywhere, all wielding chainsaws. Kiama was even worse.

The thing that really amazed me was how localised the damage was. The storm marched across the northern part of Jamberoo trashing everything in its wake, leaving a path of destruction that was only a couple hundred metres wide. People outside of that zone were relatively unscathed.

Luckily, I still got my fix of Beuna Vista Farm Bikkies (TM) on Sunday!

Just Joyful
February 26, 2013 at 9:08 am

What a scary thing to live through! I’m glad you are all safe, including the farm animals.

But I do love that first photo – beautiful.

February 26, 2013 at 10:45 am

Oh, I had been thinking of you and everyone in the area. I can’t imagine the force of the wind that you were facing and it’s so good that you didn’t have too much damage. Hooray for Adam going and braving things to check on your animals, I would have been under the bed in the foetal position. Possibly sucking my thumb. But that’s just me.

Love those photos of Ivy having a splash next to the vegie patch. Absolutely classic!

February 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm

That wheelbarrow does look like a lot of fun! If only I still fit in such things lol

February 26, 2013 at 6:05 pm

The pigs on your farm are the luckiest pigs around! So loved. I just watched the doco ‘Food Inc’. There were piggies in that film that would give their right hoof to be living at your place. Have you seen the film?? It’s unbelievable (shocking to be honest).
Oh and those photos of your sweet girl having a splashing good time…..well they made me giggle out loud!!!!!
PS Can you share your rain with us?? Our tank is almost empty!

Alex Crossing
February 26, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Hi Fi, So glad the storm didn’t blow you away. Mum and Dad rang from Robertson afterwards and said they had no power and trees down etc, so I was thinking about you guys and your chooks out in the wind. Very glad the story had a happy ending!

rhonda hetzel
March 1, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Beautiful photos … again. I just love your pigs. They’re such characters, almost like you’ve lifted them from a child’s story book. I know they’re food but did you name them?

March 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I think you need cows too 😉

March 3, 2013 at 11:34 pm

HI Rhonda! No, we accidentally named a pig once, we called him Uncle Pig. We loved him, he was excellent. We’ve carefully never named another pig. It’s impractical getting attached to pigs here, and naming them really does not help. Love to you two xx

March 4, 2013 at 4:14 am

Oh, Ivy is such a hoot! Well done, little girl, for getting your kit off first!


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