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The Wednesday all Hail Broke Loose


Last Wednesday, June 6, in the middle of a lovely, peaceful afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a Tornado Watch for our area. We all scratched our heads and went on with business as usual, but I kept glancing at the clear sky wondering what forces were at work to prompt such drastic forethought. The forces were a deep cold front over the mountains with very warm, moist air on the plains: the perfect ingredients for a line of enormous thunderstorms. And, they were right. We got our first downpour at about 7:15 and then it never stopped. The hail started about 7:30, took a quick breather and commenced again, getting larger and larger and more intense. I was at a church activity, so all I could do was sit and watch and wonder how the plants were fairing at home.

On the home front, Burton got the potted plants in, but then the storm was too intense to try to get a tarp on the apple tree or grapes (it's probably a tender mercy he didn't get the tarp on since the weight of the accumulated hail would probably have crushed the tree). When I got home about 8:45, the grapes were stripped bare, the apple tree was seriously hammered and the yard was buried under at least two inches of hail. Some areas were six inches deep. Mercifully, the girls slept through the whole thing since they had a fan going in their room. We couldn't do anything except go out and say sorry to the plants.

In the morning the girls came down saying it had snowed, and I had to prep them before they looked outside and saw the devastation. When we went outside, I pruned back all of the grape vines. Most of the grapes themselves had been knocked off, but I pruned off any clumps that hadn't. I figure the plants needed to focus on regenerating strength for themselves rather than setting grapes. I sprayed the apple tree with an essential oil blend to control fire blight but I have no clue what to do with the damaged apples. For now most of them are still on the tree and we'll just watch and see.

Life is always interesting. During the storm, I felt to pray that our plants would be okay and that we would have whatever harvest we needed this year. Apparently, the harvest we needed this year as part of our farm learnings and preparation, is the opportunity to watch our amazing plants respond to what seemed like a devastating natural disaster. Nothing in the natural, yielding world is a disaster. Change becomes a disaster when we resist it. Already, one week later, our grapes have new growth, our primrose are blooming again, our currants are ripening, our apples have calloused over and the apple tree has new growth, and our kinnikinnik looks like there never was a storm. Fascinating.

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