July 2014 …we planted these four little cypress trees in tubs and set them in the sandy backyard, thinking that someday we may want to move them.
Five years later these cute little trees are 10 feet tall and 8 feet around and not likely to be moved! Until July 20, 2019, the day of the mini-tornado at Bent Pine Farm.
I’m always complaining about Florida weather! It’s too hot for 7 months of the year, and the other 5 are hit and miss… we may have days that are absolutely gorgeous, but you know that as soon as we set out those tomato seedlings…Bamm! Freezing temps. Happens every time.
On this particular Friday, or was it Saturday? (When you’re retired all the days run together…so in addition to having more to do than when you were working full time, you have no idea what day it is!) as we sat watching the rain. It came in at a 90 degree angle blowing from the south, then suddenly turned 180 degrees, blowing from the north. We heard “pop”-“pop” – “pop”…not knowing what that was…
When it was over, we went outside to find our 10 foot Cypress trees laying over on the ground with all their tap roots broken off at the base! The chickens had been blown across the garden in their cage! The huge Moringa tree was over flat with its roots ripped out of the ground. Micro-burst!! A little scary.
With Seth’s help we got the Cypress righted and planted in the ground. Let’s face it. It’s the only way those trees would have gotten moved! Florida weather. You gotta love it.
When you live in Florida, you must get used to the total indifference of the weather to personal comfort…
Today was our first heavy-duty thunderstorm for the 2019 season. All those “bent pines” we had been discussing earlier…well, four of them came down and took out the fence around the hogs’ happy home.
Not to be deterred, we set about immediately to order the mess. And in no time flat the downed wood was cleaned up.
There are lots and lots of bent pines on the farm. We know that as they fall, they give back to the soil what the soil has given to them. The good news is that the spot we had planned for a new hay barn is now cleared and ready to start construction…a good sign. Hallelujah!!
I was about to say, “Maybe we’ll have a mild winter.”… after the record heat we experienced all summer and into Fall. But, no. Here we are in our third day of low to mid-twenties…west Central Florida…who knew?
Covered the strawberries with hay and manure. They had finally started to flower and produce fruit after a slow start in the hot weather. But, they are perennial, so the strawberries should be okay. Live and learn.
I was about to say “What a nice crop of greens for the animals.” But, no. There go the pigeon peas, or at least the tops. The roots should be alright, so they will grow back this Spring. Not sure about the winter peas. We may end up turning them under for green manure. At least they are nitrogen fixing, so they’ll benefit the next crop, even if we did lose out on all the greens for the animals. And this year we know not to plant another cover crop right after the winter peas. Last year we made that mistake and ended up with marvelous greens on the cowpeas…but no peas! Live and learn.
I was about to say, “The Winter garden veggies are doing well this year.” But, no. The ‘night foragers’ have learned how to get over the electric fence around the main garden. Lost all the lettuce and the pole beans to midnight bunny raids…or maybe squirrels. We ended up putting field fencing around the garden anyway. Live and learn.
I was about to say, “The opossum have learned how to avoid getting caught in the Hav-a-Hart traps.” Evolution, it was bound to happen. But, no. After we found the duck egg nest and started collecting all the duck eggs each day, the varmint decided to eat the ducks instead of the eggs! Set the trap and…nothing…until yesterday. He must have been too cold to think clearly. Gotcha! Live and learn.