I know as a farmer it must be breaking some cardinal rule to complain about rain, and at the risk of having this very post forwarded back to me in late August; I must say I am fed up with the endless torrential downpours we have experienced this Spring!
We have received 7″ of rain in the past four days and there is another 7″ forecasted during the next week or so. Year to date we have had 21″ of precipitation, which is approximately 60% of our total annual average – in only four months!
We try to look at the positive aspects of our farm – one huge one being our beautiful lake with abundant water for our crops and animals. After all, our lake is in our namesake: “Carter” & “Mere” (“lake”). Our name literally means Carter’s Lake. What can be a blessing can also become a curse on occasion…
Our lake has now flooded over half our vegetable plots. All our onions and potatoes are under water and much of our melons, squash, beans and okra have been washed away. We literally have wild geese and carp swimming throughout or vegetable plots and we can now navigate our boat into our high tunnels. The road to our property is underwater and the lake level has breached our first spillway. It’s a mess here!
The rain has also begun to affect our livestock. Our sheep have now been confined to about half their normal pasture and the lush grass they were enjoying is now largely under water. While our layers don’t seem to mind the rains, it does just about ensure every egg will need to be hand washed in these muddy conditions. Our pastured meat birds even found themselves in a pickle, becoming stranded out on a point as the waters rose. We had to wade out and rescue them before their island submerged.
It is yet to be seen how this will affect our summer crops. The onions and potatoes will likely only last a short time under water and it will probably take many days for the waters to recede, should we even get a break in the rains. The tomatoes are just inches away from being under water and they hate “wet feet”. Many of the other crops have been washed out. Looks like it’s going to be a difficult summer for our vegetable availability.