Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene

We were very lucky! The wind was tropical storm rather than hurricane strength and the rain was minimal, I'd say less than 2 inches. Still, I did not enjoy the wind we did get! It is unnerving to see spruce trees blowing about like palm trees!

Before the storm, we were especially concerned about the new hoop house under construction. We really did not want it tested so soon! We braced it in each corner with 2x4s and the neighbor loaned us some ground anchors too. It did just fine--didn't budge at all!

Every time I go to a hardware store, I look at the generators and think we should have one. Well, Friday morning, we decided we had to have one immediately and, of course, they were all sold out. We went on a bit of a road trip to one of two stores I was able to find with some in stock. They would not take orders over the phone, so we had to drive there, fully expecting them to be sold out by the time we got there. Luckily, there were still a few to choose from, though they were selling fast! The store had them right by the door, already on trolleys, with a gas can and heavy duty electrical cord. And, they had a couple of strong employees to lift it into the truck for us.

When we got home, Jeff set it up to run in the back of the truck, which is probably a 'don't' in the instructions, but we needed it close to the house and not in the elements. Jeff organized a good set up with the shop light for night time, the fan to help keep the motor cool and a wattage meter. Next time, we will wire it into the house, so we don't have electrical cords running all over the place!

The road trip paid off as we did lose the power from about 9:50 am Sunday to about 11:50 am Monday and we were able to save all our garden food that is squirreled in the deep freezer. We were also able to run the fridge and check the TV for news updates.

We had computers on battery throughout the storm, but the internet was down!

The garden got such a beating! The larger, more fragile leafed plants like cukes and zukes got torn to shreds. The peppers and eggplants looked like they were getting broken. I took some pictures toward the tail end of the storm when the winds had weakened and I dared go outside. Here are the peppers and the flattened sunflowers in the background.

More peppers.

A detail of the green bells.

A detail of the Holy Moles.

The eggplants really looked doomed!

Most of the tomatillos were flattened, except for some that grew up through cages.

As evening came, we were able to open the house windows a little to let in some cooling breezes to clear out the hot, humid, tropical storm air. We had some candles for light in between running the generator. I wished I'd bought more than one of these cute Ikea lanterns! Maybe I will look for them again the next time we are there.

Monday, work was closed due to the lack of power, so Jeff and I cleaned up sticks in the yard. We didn't have that many. The neighbor to the south lost most of a tree and some fence and the neighbor to the north lost some tree limbs, but nothing like it could have been. Some of the trees don't have many leaves left.

We worked at staking the peppers and today, they are looking perkier!

This hab was flat on the ground after Irene, but we gently lifted it and tied it up.

Likewise, a Holy Mole.

The eggplants are really surprisingly sturdy plants.

Quite a few peppers fell off the plants and most of them are under-ripe, so they are a loss, but we will still have plenty. The eggplants are probably ok, though perhaps a little bruised. All the fruit fell off the apple trees and the grape vines. It smells like a winery under the trees!!

I just hope everyone else in the path of the storm can get back to normal soon too!!!

3 comments:

Kristen said...

Thank goodness your hoop house is so sturdy- good job, Jeff! And though the garden looks beaten down in places, there is a lot of life in it yet and more veggies to come.
I'm thankful we didn't lose power here at all. Local schools and YMCAs are offering their facilities for showers and water. It's heartwarming when communities support those in need.

Lisette said...

Glad to read you made it through the storm okay and saved your harvest in the freezer.

2paw said...

So glad you are safe and that Jeff's hoop house withstood Irene's fury. The generator really did save all your frozen things, you worked so hard to get them there too.
I can't believe how resilient the plants are, you can not even tell they were blown over.