I’m afraid that the rain that has been pounding our area has not let up all month. We now have a new area record for June rainfall so far and the month isn’t quite over yet. Before it started pouring this evening, the reported June rainfall was 13.10 inches which averages to nearly 1/2 an inch a day. UGH! Goodness knows what the total will be, but we know that it has been quite devastating to the farm. More than the rain, the storm that rolled through last night with high winds, hail and tornadoes was sadly quite damaging to the orchard and other areas of the farm.
We had straight line, powerful winds and heavy rain from the west which flattened some of our 4-5 year old orchard trees and did much damage to many other trees and parts of the farm. Here is just one row of trees leaning nearly 30 -45 degrees due to straight line wind last night! Here is one of our lovely apple trees that was snapped off at the base of the tree and actually carried several feet away!
This is the snapped trunk. Ugh! Here is another apple tree that was pushed over from the base and yet still attached at the roots so we had a glimmer of hope that we could save it with some careful manipulation.We attempted to right this tree (which was full of apples…adding to its weight!) by pulling it back upright and bracing it with tethers. So, we rushed out to buy stakes and rope and cut up some old rubber hose to make supports. We then pounded in the stakes, threaded the pieces of hose with the rope and tried to re-secure the trees as best we could. It was a two person job at best! Crossing fingers, but here is the apple tree (now upright) that was nearly flattened in the previous photo. We did this to all trees along the orchard lines to the best of our ability today, pulling trees back into place and hoping they will recover. In addition to the damage in the orchard, the strawberry patch was assaulted by a limb from the nearby oak tree but shouldn’t be affected long term. The blueberry patch suffered minor damage. In one row, two 5 foot tall end posts broke off at their base and collapsed the bird netting but managed to avoid damaging the berry shrubs. I was able to harvest again today in a break in the weather so I’ve picked more than 81 pounds so far this year. THAT IS A LOT OF BLUE BERRIES! Here is a very small representation of what I have frozen so far. The bees at Seven Oaks have also managed to produce 92 pounds of honey so far this year which is impressive considering the wet season they have dealt with this year! The poor, wet bees are not happy either!
Despite the depressing weather and farm reports, we had several delightful, family highlights in the last week which I wish I had found time to share earlier when were in celebration mode. Kate and Jason celebrated their first wedding anniversary last weekend (June 21st) and we had a fun photo session with two month old Coulter in the photo to help give perspective of all that has happened in the past year to change all our lives forever. We are all so blessed!This past weekend Kate and I traveled with Coulter to a Luehrman family reunion in Lexington, Missouri and enjoyed seeing extended family members there for a luncheon. Highlights of that 33+ family member group included seeing my dear Aunt Helen (my godmother and dad’s younger sister/only surviving sibling) and her husband Bob Brotemarkle who traveled from Phoenix for the event as well as cousins Peggy (from Maryland), Janice (from Virginia) and Mary Edna (from Iowa). Coulter, the youngest of all family representatives, stole the show…I loved his first name tag! June 2015 has been memorable in so many ways…the circle of life continues with little Coulter. He says it all for me here…life is full of wonderment…enjoy!