The Restorative Power of Rain
Walking outside this morning well before sun up, was like getting hit in the face with a steam bath. We finally got some much-needed rain yesterday and last night. Human beings rely heavily upon the forces of nature. However, as with most situations, one takes rain for granted…even complains about it, until there isn’t enough. Things here at the farm were reaching a concerning level of dryness. We are grateful for the rain and the growth it will bring.
My bibbed wearing buddy, as many of you know is quite innovative. Upon moving in, he created an impressive and innovative watering system for the pasture fields behind the barn. He took large, oversized tires, which would have ended up in a landfill, cleaned them, placed them over a pipe where he had “caught” a natural spring coming out of the ground, placed bags of cement on the bottom, channeled the downspout from the barn, and created a natural spring waterer and rain barrel. It supplies fresh, spring water and is supplemented with rain overflow to provide water to the goats and pony year-round. He really is an impressive little man. However, with this summer’s dry conditions, the spring slowed to a trickle and there was no supplemental overflow. We have been filling the waterers with the hose for weeks. After last nights downpour, hopefully the water level has risen on its own.
The water level is not the only element of the farm to suffer from the lack of rain fall. Our pasture fields have really suffered as well. Eric mows the pasture fields several times a year to keep them at peak performance for the goats and the pasture raised large black hogs…yes, we have heritage pigs who prefer pasture and hay over grain. He has only had to mow once this year, which is very unusual. Unfortunately, after he mowed the first time, we received no rain and the pasture field has not had an opportunity to recover. We have had to supplement the goats and pigs with hay bales, which is also highly unusual and detrimental to our winter stores. It does us no good to have several pasture fields to rotate the goats and pigs in if the grass doesn’t grow.
Our new gardening endeavor has suffered as well. My friend CiCi, who I refer to as my garden Miyagi, has left us. Before she left, she made sure our garden was in order and we knew how to properly care for and harvest our bounty. We have been diligently watering the garden but the lack of rainfall and high temperatures have been very unkind. We have plans to harvest and freeze our corn this weekend. However, we are left with an over abundance of beets, radishes and Kohlrabi. If anyone has ideas on how to preserve radishes and Kohlrabi, please share your knowledge. Our pumpkins, squash, and cucumbers have taken a definite down turn. We are hoping to harvest and preserve them in the next few weeks if we can keep them alive. The rainfall should surely help in their survival.
My dear goats, who miss their barn because they are still participating in Camp Smay-Ka-Wacko, seemed to relish the rain and enjoy grazing once the storm had passed. They normally hate to be out in the rain but last night, when the high winds, thunder and lightening had passed, they stood in the steady, gentle rain and ate to their hearts content. I think they found the rain to be as restorative and refreshing as we did. I am just as anxious as they to have them return to the pastures and the barn. Our temporary milking trailer, although sufficient in its purpose, is not as convenient or comfortable for milking. Hopefully, when some of the piggies leave, we have more rain, and the temperatures cool a bit, the pastures will rebound and we can get back to a more comfortable, normal schedule.
We are hoping for a productive, restorative weekend. I hope you too are finding some restorative, fulfillment with the upcoming change in season, rain, and cooler temperatures. As always, stay safe, stay smart, allow nature and all it’s restorative abilities to renew you and your spirit, and of course keep washing your hands.