Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Desert?

In the interest of "keepin' it real," I'm going to share something with you that I'm ashamed of. Are you ready? Prepare yourselves...

Now, before you cut my blog from your reading list, please let me explain. Our area is officially 12" below the normal rainfall for the year...combine that with a record number of days over 100 degrees, WAY over 100 in fact, we're regularly seeing temps like 108 and 111 degrees...and you get the veggie garden pictured above. :( I have no doubts in my mind that some of you could have done a much better job of saving this garden, but Homestead Man and I had to make some tough decisions regarding the time and water available and what we wanted to save on our acre.

When watering restrictions began in our area, we used the water stored in the rain barrel for a time, but of course that dried up as well. We have fruit trees, blackberries, and perennials planted here on our acre that have taken years to establish. We decided that those needed to take priority over the veggie garden when watering. In addition, we have the dogs, cats, bunnies, chickens, horses and cattle that needed us. I've been taking out ice water to the bunnies and chickens every day and trying to train them to get in their ice water bowls to cool down. Even with this, we lost all three laying hens to the heat and have had to begin our flock again with two baby chicks.

The situation out at Willow Run (our land that is apart from our home acre) is even worse. The ponds have all but dried up and it looks like we'll loose all the fish that were stocked there years ago. When it finally rains we'll have to restock everything. For now we're hauling water out to the horses and cows, but we've decided to pay the cost of running water lines out there with the Coop for a dependable source of water for the livestock.

It has occurred to me that if we were in the prairie days, we would not have survived this summer. That's a pretty sobering thought. I hope and pray that this is the most severe summer we will ever see, but we have learned some valuable lessons that I will be sharing in the next few weeks. We do have some ornamental plants that have fared pretty well and we know that we need to concentrate more on mulching the veggie beds. We're already planning a fall garden with the hopes that the weather will even out a bit soon.

I can't bear to leave you with the image above, so let me share a little bright spot from our acre.

The Rose Moss is loving the heat and drought!