Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All Hail Spring

At 4:30 a.m. yesterday, everyone jumped out of bed in terrified response to the jack-hammering golf ball sized hail battering our house. Hail fell in torrential sheets, while frequent lightening flashes showed us glimpses of a foreign, ice filled landscape. I have never seen anything like this hail storm. I prayed the windows and cars would survive the battering ice while the children prayed for the roof. About 15 minutes later, the ice turned to rain and we waited for sunrise to survey the damage.

Kurt left for class as the sun rose early in the morning. Creek water rushed over the small land bridge that forms the only way in or out of our property and no one knew if he would be able to get home later that day. Not much road survived the last wash-over and we didn't know if we would survive this one.

Praise to God's grace and mercy, damage was not as bad as it could have been. Enough road remains for us to get in and out of our property. Garden plants were smashed and trees defoliated, but the house remained sound as did the vehicles. (Except for a traveling crack in my windshield.)

Despite wind and rain throughout the day yesterday, leaves pulled down by the hail cover everything. Once these leaves dry we will need to sweep out the children's trampoline.

After struggling to survive flooding rains over and over this last month, the garlic suffered bravely through yesterday's hail and flooding rain. However, ice flattened much of it.

The onions fared worse.

Much of the sugar cane looked battered.

And torn.

Leaves snapped.

And bent over.

The smashed radishes have begun to rally, though it looks like bugs have started attacking the weakened plants.

The horseradish looks very sad.

Under all of the fallen leaves this bed was once filled with baby spinach.

The banana trees around our house look pathetic with their shredded leaves.

Our apple trees had finally grown to the point of producing abundant blossoms this year. Not many are left and those that are have few petals remaining.

Even the chicken wire covered coop yard sported a leaf covering. The turkeys and chickens are still trying to figure out if the leaves are good for food.

Our meat chickens are growing fast and eating tons of food every day.

The 70 of them also drink about 7 gallons of water each day.

They are already huge for only 4 weeks old.

The turkeys too are big.

Our rare breed chicken has feathered out as expected.

He looks a bit like Elvis.

What do you think?

He looks tiny surrounded by the giant meat birds while waiting his turn at the waterer.

Last week, I gathered the poke weeds for the first time and cooked my first poke salat.

I've never actually cooked greens before and didn't realize how little I had picked. We only had enough to just taste it. My recipe needs work. I don't know if I like poke or not yet. It takes a lot of work cooking it "in 3 waters."

Last week we got a couple deliveries from the power company.

As the power company trims their easements, they shred the plant material and will provide it free of charge for composting. I'm hoping to get a great deal more before Spring turns to Summer.

I cooked one of the turkeys we raised last year for Easter Sunday. After we picked the meat from the bones, I boiled the bones overnight with some onion, celery, garlic and bay for turkey broth. Yesterday, I canned 24 pints.

I love stocking my pantry with home grown and prepared food.

I have done a little knitting during the last couple of weeks.

I finished my Rogue Roses socks.

And I finally started my Rivendell socks. I have loved the Rivendell pattern for a long time and I can't believe it took so long for me to get started. I'm on the second chart and am already thinking I might need to make a second pair.

All in all, we're having a normal, crazy Spring.


The Gingerbread House said...

Well I think you have had a time of it and so did your poor garden, with all of that ...you still have some good blessings to share, not everyone has "meat chickens and turkeys" roaming around and that "Elvis" chicken is just good for show :o)...That stock looks mighty good in those jars...Guess I better get myself in gear if I want some homemade noodle soup..with homemade chicken stock.

Joanne said...

Ohhhh, I don't like hail! It is very scarey to be in a hail storm. We had one several years ago, so I know what you all went through. Love the chicken pictures and your socks are wonderful!

Caroline in NH said...

Sorry to hear about the hailstorm. That must have been really freaky. We've only ever had hail up here a couple of times. The meat birds are really Frankenstein-ish. The Elvis chick looks like a gold-laced Polish? Adorable, in any case!

Alli said...

I think your rare breed chicken is probably a golden laced Polish. Probably a rooster. We have a few Polish chickens and they are one of my favorite breeds - they are beautiful!