Sunday, July 22, 2012

Life on the farm - Recovery after the rain

July 7, 2012 just after we shredded.

Our recent rain event was wonderful. With just under 15 inches of rain over a couple of weeks our water tables certainly have been recharged. The moisture level in the soil has to be excellent and hopefully enough to sustain us for a while. That is, if we can continue to get a little rain through out the summer.

In South Texas, August and September can play havoc on your pastures and food plots. Extreme heat and the sun bearing down on your plants can literally burn them up. Glass chards can catch the sunlight just right and start fires and while that doesn't happen very often, it can happen. The July rains should help to buffer the effects of a late South Texas Summer.

On the Rural Living farm we had been fortunate to catch up on most of the shredding and had a pretty good stand on second planting tomatoes and our peppers were just starting to produce well, had removed about 50 trees and trimmed up several more. It was starting to look like a park and was very pretty. Then came the rains. Lot's of it although we were fortunate to get it over a couple of weeks. At some point we had standing water but never over an inch or two. The garden never had standing water but the soil became like a wet sponge for days on end. As such we have lost 90% of the food we were growing and will be starting over.

Yesterday was the first day we could get onto the property to begin to clean up. Recovery day. And as a general rule of thumb on the Rural Living farm, things do not go smoothly. It is never as easy as starting the farm tractor or lawn tractor and away your go. The farm tractor wouldn't start. The mosquitoes were thick in clouds and the grass is too thick to mow with the lawn tractor. Additionally, we still need to install the new drive shaft for the shredder.

We spend most of the evening just spraying for the mosquitoes. We were able to get about an acre sprayed and hope that the grass dries up enough to just eliminate the mosquitoes that are hanging out in it. Today we'll work on getting the drive shaft installed and dumping water from lick tubs and such that didn't have drainage holes. Eliminating sources of breeding mosquitoes is top priority. And we hope that we can figure out why the tractor wouldn't start.

I will say when I took Chuckie out for his morning romp that I didn't have one mosquito buzz me. That's a good sign.

That's life on a hobby farm. While the upside is that you live in a rural community free from many of the things that living in an urban setting can bring and living a dream of owning wide open spaces and producing some if not all of your food, the hazards are there. Including a monsoon like rain that can destroy your food plots and force you to start over on your property maintenance. All that work destroyed but it's all a part of life here. You just pick up and start again.

As a side note, we took the first picture on the day that Farmer Gene had just harvested his corn. Other farmers in the area were not so lucky. Some were fortunate to get it done. Others have either a partial crop or all of their crop destroyed. And while we produce for our own needs, they produce for a living.