Grit Blogs > The Life of a Gardener

The Calm After the Storm

Ann and NickOver the weekend here in Central Illinois, we had many storms that brought lots of rain. The adjacent road to Ann's house floods with the least amount of rain, and it is nerve wracking for the families in that area whenever the weatherman calls for rain several days in a row. But this past weekend was one that not only had thundershowers throughout the late night/early morning, but winds strong enough to blow the wind sideways.

The next day, Ann woke up to leave for school and went out to her backyard like she does every morning only to find chaos. Every tomato cage in the yard was toppled flat to the ground. Having to leave to the bus stop, Ann had no time to start the cleanup and adjustments after every storm. We have had storms strong enough to tilt the tomato cages of course, but they had never knocked them flat.

So that day, I picked Ann up after her tennis practice, which ended at 5. We went back and found that it wasn't just as bad as we had thought ... it was worse. The tomato cages created a domino effect, knocking over the bell peppers. We were glad to find that the peppers were not harmed and were able to be righted with a little easy coaching and replanting. The tomatoes took the worst of the damage. They were completely uprooted, stems were snapped in half, and two of the tomato cages were even broken in spots. The tomato cages can be welded back together, and I hope to do that sometime before next planting season. But there was no such hope to be able to fix the tomato plants. We picked off all the tomatoes and now have them wrapped in newspaper to help them turn red. It is very sad and frustrating to have one entire part of your garden destroyed over one night, but we are still going strong with the rest of our plants.

tomatoes

Flooded street

Rainbow

One of the best parts after a storm is the search for a rainbow. We found one (not the one pictured. That one was taken at a different time.) We took the rainbow as a sign that everything happens for a reason and we can try again next year.

We also had a last-minute invitation to go on a Farmer's Crawl in Livingston County here in Illinois. We visited two farms. It is amazing how much variety there is in the great creatures and critters of the earth. We got to see many animals and new ideas to add to our list: pigs, Muscovy ducks, honeybees, other varieties of ducks, many varieties and crosses of chickens, puppies, many dairy goats, beautiful white peacocks, and Ann's little brother Nicholas' favorite, kittens. We saw many new ideas about where and how to plant. White buckets filled with dirt and then buried in the ground to decrease weeding time and growing in hay bales.

Nicholas Swiskoski

So although we had the annoying, frustrating part of this weekend, we also had the fun enjoyable times. We also found out that Nick's mom Bonnie is thinking/planning on getting honeybees.

– Ann and Nick

nebraskadave
8/27/2014 9:37:36 AM

Ann and Nick, yeah, I feel your pain. Try three devastations in the span of a month. First there was a very late frost that killed everything. So I replanted. Three weeks later an extreme storm blew through with 100+ winds, seven inches of rain, and hail the size of baseballs. So I replanted. Then came the neighbor's yard service to spray the lawn for weeds. Every thing has been sick ever since. It was too late to replant. Out of four surviving tomato plants I will be harvesting a grand total of maybe 12 tomatoes. Not exactly what I had in mind at the beginning of the gardening year. Oh, well, there's always next year, right? ***** Have a great calm after the storm day.