WOW! Has September been crazy! I think September 1st was the most insane day I have had in a long long while. By 9am I was so busy I wanted to go back to bed. We spent what seemed like the whole day chasing pigs.. fixing fence.. putting pigs back into fixed fence... chasing pigs.. fixing fence again.. putting pigs back in again... chasing pigs.. so on and so on. There was one pig we just never could get back in the fenced area.
Of course Andy came home and had her back in the fence within minutes! Isn't that always the way?
That evening it rained and rained and rained. It started real heavy during milking time so I was inside with the kids. Debris started flying and Andy called from the milking parlor telling me to get the kids in the basement.. fast. I looked out the window in time to see the tarp blow off the broiler chicks pen that had been placed out in the front pasture. I knew then we would loose them but there was nothing I could do but watch. Andy came in around 10 and confirmed we had lost the chicks. So sad. We both just felt like crying.
Around 11:30 pm Andy looked out the window and saw the water rising. We had just had three new heritage sheep delivered late that afternoon and the pen they were in was looking like it might flood. So out Andy goes and he let the sheep out... being new they did not know Andy or the lay of the land and they ran straight for the rising water. Andy looked over and saw one of our calves that was trapped by the rising water over the east pasture. He went out and literally pulled her through the fence to safety. It was raining so hard and it was so dark... we could see that the cows had moved to high ground and all we could do was go to bed and pray for the best.
We woke up to this. 65 acres of water. The only dry areas we had were to top of the east pasture and the top of the west winter pasture. We set off to count animals and survey the damage. 95% of the farm was under 6 feet of water. We lost the broilers, those three rare sheep, but all the cows were safe. No way to milk that day... water was clear up to the parlor!
It was amazing how fast it all cleared. Within in a week most of the pasture was dryish.. but it was all black. It looked like a feedlot here. Yuck. We seeded the following weekend. We even had some much neded help! The Baker family spent part of the morning helping us spread seed.... all the while being pestered by Tater and a couple of curious cows. Friends Melissa and April also came out to help. I wish I had taken a picture of Melissa.... she walked the pasture for what seemed like hours with baby Gianna in the sling! Super Mama! :-) Chelsea came with April and played with the kids so we were able to get the job done! I don't think we would have gotten it done ourselves without all the help! It allowed Andy to focus on fence repairs and really made a difference for us!
We lost most of our grazeable pasture.. way too early in the year for that. Milk supply has signicantly dropped... so no more cream. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE cream? The end of the cream season was not due till winter! I miss cream already.
Two weeks later.... we get hit with ANOTHER storm. This one was super scary. Debris flying everywhere... 80 mile an hour winds. And once again.. Andy was out in it! He was on his way home when it hit and there was a wreck about 2miles from the house. The woman seemed disoriented and Andy stayed with her.. he had her wait in his truck until help arrived. I cannot imagine how scary that must have been. The village of Alvo where they were had so many trees down the roads were blocked.. it must have been quite the site to watch that happen. We were luckier than most... we had a few trees down in fence line, he house was fine except for some basement flooding, and we lost power and missed a milking due to no power. We ran the generator to keep the milk in the store cold but couldn't get enough juice to run the milking system. Overall... we did OK with that storm.
Cleanup is on going. Construction has halted for the time being... purchasing hay in September was never in the budget. So, our milk room finish work will just have to wait till spring.
Fun stuff that happened this month: We hosted the API of Lincoln family potluck this month. It was a really great day! So much fun to take a day off, visit with friends and watch the kids play all day.
Yesterday we stopped by a friend's homeschool jamboree and the girls learned how to throw spears. They made an Atlatl and used it to throw the spears.. it was great fun!
Other than that the month was pretty much normal (as she laughs out loud). Normal? Is there such a thing on a farm? Oh well..... that which does not kill us only makes us stronger... right? Seriously... I bet we have the best pasture around next year!
Artisan Cheesemaker. Lover of all foods dairy..