Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene Preparations

I’m writing this on Saturday afternoon and while it has been raining for a few hours, the wind just picked up within the last ten minutes. While working on the farm on Friday, I was without access to a weather report, so my preparations were based on updates from shareholders in the U-pick area, and a few phone calls. When I got home I checked my email and another farmer had sent an email out on the Philadelphia Urban Farmers listserv asking for advice on what to do to prepare. The general manager of the co-op called and said we should “harvest everything” (assumedly because he thought it would all be lost). A teacher stopped by and told me we should expect 100 mile per hour winds. I began to wonder if any preparatory steps would be in vain. I began to have visions of all the white grow cover swirling around in a tornado immediately above the farm and the hoop houses being ripped all to shreds. After a few phone calls to my immediate farming community and support network, I took the following steps:
• Closed all the windows to the pick up building.
• Picked up all signs and our banner.
• Put extra weights on the grow cover, took off any that wasn’t absolutely necessary.
• Closed the hoop house doors and barred them shut (the latches aren’t so good).
• Put all groundhog traps, buckets, trash cans, plant trays, wheelbarrows and bins that usually stay outside in the tool shed.
• Reinforced the stakes of the tomatoes that aren’t totally diseased (the others can fall over for all I care!).
• Said a small prayer for our peppers and eggplants!
Let’s hoe that does it! We’ll find out on Monday morning!

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