Homesteading is a living, flowing entity whose challenges and joys ebb and flow.
Spending time, sweat and your hard earned money on planting a garden is one of the most rewarding experiences there is. The hours spent researching, watering, fertilizing, harvesting and observing your crops are usually well rewarded. However, Mother Nature is a moody force and she rarely cooperates with your desires.
It has been weeks without rain here in the heart of North Carolina. The upper 80-90 degree days have been hard on the crops and animals. Everyone has been hoping for a good rain to nourish the dry earth and wash away the dust. Be careful what you wish for.
The sky opened up this afternoon and brought tremendous thunder and sky cracking lightening. Along with the surround sound effects that only Mother Nature can bring came heavy, fast falling rain.
This happened to coincide with when I was doing my daily chores outside, so I became a very wet redhead. The goats squeezed themselves as tight in the corner of their house as goatly possible. The chickens took cover in their dry coop, all but one very upset Polish girl. Apparently she is low on the chicken totem pole and was not allowed in-or she wasn’t smart enough to go under the very large portion of the Chicken Palace that has a fabulous metal roof.
I assisted her into the coop and almost stepped on poor old Rosie the Rabbit. She was drenched and muddy and very unsuccessfully trying to stay dry-again, she must have missed the memo about the giant metal roof. I lifted her up into the coop where everyone else was taking refuge-including her husband Raffi who left her in the rain! He did win back some of his gentlemanliness (that’s a word right?) when he protected her from the hens who loudly protested her arrival in the coop.
After getting everyone situated, I headed to the garden where I was very upset to learn a tomato plant that was covered in soon to be ripe tomatoes, had fallen prey to fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici, aka fusarium crown rot. (More info found HERE) This fungus is said to live in the soil for up to two years, which is not good news. I am so hoping it does not spread to our other tomato plants. I carefully removed the diseased plant and put it far away from the garden. Anyone have any experience with this?
This has not been a great garden year for us, we will definitely have to put some thought into what can do better for next year. At least the potato plants seem to be flourishing. I guess I will be paying tribute to my Irish ancestors with all the potatoes I will be eating in a few months!
Until next time…