Saturday, July 7, 2012

Daily Farm Journal....Faith

Saturday Evening July 8, 2012

As most of you know I am not native to the Midwest. I come from the land of swamps and gators. There was no prairie grass but rather sprawling live oaks dripping with spanish moss and lots of sugar cane. Moccasins, hurricanes, crayfish and lots of water. I remember when I first moved here with my husband what a culture shock it was. The climate was so different and I had to learn to garden all over again it seemed.  But learn I did and I have come to love this old place. Somehow we are connected to this land. It seems that when the lands suffers that we suffer with it.  

Daily High temperatures were again 106. There was a 30% chance of rain in the forecast but as of yet we have not gotten any. As people who live close to the land and toil daily in the soil it is so hard to watch the toll this takes on this land. It is hard to watch that which we have nurtured from the beginning wither and die. 

We are fortunate in that our soil in most gardens has been amended for many years and is very good. This year we also have tilled very little going to a no till method in one garden and just not tilling unless absolutely necessary in the other. We simply hoe or pull those weeds by hand this year. By not working that soil we seem to lose less moisture. We have also put heavy mulches of hay, grass and leaves on a large portion of our gardens. This has made a huge difference and it is amazing to dig under that straw and find beautiful moist soil even in this weather. We have attempted to plant thickly to reduce the amount of bare soil and this has also helped to reduce moisture loss. We also realize that we are fortunate that we have an old well that already existed behind the shed that we only use for irrigation. We save as much gray water as possible and throw it on the gardens. Soiled water from the pig water bowls goes on the plants now as well and water that does not have any chemicals or harsh soaps also goes on gardens or flower beds. If worse came to worse we could irrigate from the farm pond also.  We live believing that God helps those who help themselves and we will not go down without a fight. 

We have ceased to mow the grass at all not wanting to stress it any further than it is already stressed. We are still attempting to at the least give everything from gardens to fruit trees a drink occasionally to keep them alive. We do not know if we will lose all the fruit or not. In this heat it tends to drop from the stressed trees.  Don't get me wrong we will not starve as my pantry remains well stocked as does my two freezers almost year round. Our harvests are not as large as they usually are but we are thankful that we continue to harvest at all and work diligently daily to continue on that course. We also continue to irrigate some with city water but expect a ban any day. 

Many farmers in the area have already lost their crops. We fear for the ones that are not insured. The cattle farmers are starting to get rid of any excess stock to conserve feed and hay. My poultry are starting to not lay eggs regularly due to heat stress. 

I remember when first moving here listening to stories told by older residents and my mother in law about the depression years here and the dust bowl years. About grass hoppers eating fence posts and eating the handles out of the hoes. About clouds of dust seeping into every crevice of their homes. About droughts and people losing their farms. About snow drifts over the tops of the fence posts and floods washing away whole farms.

I fondly think of my elderly neighbor Clara that lived to 102. She sat in her living room at 100 and told me a story of another drought long ago. Of her family moving the beds outside to escape the heat of the house. They were placed under  shade trees in the yard where they would sleep. Seems one night the old hound dog chased a coon out of the chicken yard and right through the middle of her mama and daddy's bed. She sat and remembered almost a century later with a twinkle in those old eyes and pride that they had indeed survived. She told of their house burning down from the prairie fires that year and her father simply moving the chicken house and adding on to it and moving in. She lived through 3 houses on the farm she shared with her husband. She buried 2 babies and a husband on that farm. Now that is a pioneer spirit if ever I saw one in a lady that stood maybe 4 feet tall and didn't weigh 100 pounds.

This is a hard land and a tenacious people. These people that plow and plant. These people that look to the sky every morning to plan their day. These people that work the animals and harvest the bounty of the land. Here on our farm we measure our success by how full the pantry, root cellar, freezer and smokehouse are. Indeed this is looking like a lean year for us all but we know that we are more fortunate than most. With food prices predicted to rise as much as 30% by the end of the year I will be canning everything I can scratch out of the land that my family will eat. As food prices increase I know that my family will not know hunger. Our fare may be simple and homegrown but our table will always be full. 

I have to wonder if years from now I will be telling my own grandchildren about the drought of 2012. I pray to be as brave and as tenacious as the women who have endured these hardships before me. I pray to survive the winds and droughts that sweep across this prairie. The bugs and the tornadoes. The fires and the floods. I pray for us all to endure. I pray for the courage and dignity to watch as the land dries up right before my eyes. As the grass turns brown and crinkly and dies. As the flowers and shrubs cease to bloom from the scalding heat. Eventually the rain will come as will the snow. 

Until then I will just continue to pray for wisdom and patience and blessed rain. I will also continue to pray for all of you out there facing these same challenges. 

May we all endure...May we all overcome..May we all persevere.

I plant my cabbage, broccoli and other fall crop seeds today. As I again sow seeds to bring forth new life I think of a saying that I love. "She who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits to see believes in God". 

So again I plant and again I wait. Many times I am asked what is the most important thing for homesteading.

And again I answer........F A I T H !

See ya Monday morning.

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter  


  1. What an absolutely beautiful post, thank you so much for sharing it. We live on the east coast of Canada and although it is much more humid here in the summer, we are also expecting a hotter, drier summer than usual and are seeing it already. I will pray for you and your farm and for your neighbours. And I will continue to be inspired by your amazing ability on your land and in your kitchen. xoxoxoxo

  2. Faith. Yes. Self Endurance. Yes.
    A beautiful Wise Lady you are.

  3. Faith. Yes. Self Endurance. Yes
    A beautiful Wise Lady you are.

  4. How inspiring you are. Your words are very touching with a softness and a strength. Hold on ... the rain will come.

  5. A beautiful post. We are suffering the same drought down here in Arkansas. It truly is a hard year as we watch the gardens die and the ponds dry to nothing. Some trees are already browning and droppiong their leaves.

    Our neighbors are also selling their cattle and the hay crop is just sad. I will planting my fall garden in two weeks and pray it does better than this early one has fared. But as you said, we will endure!

  6. You have described the same situation we have here in Indiana. Most of the corn is already a loss and only a lot of rain will save the soybeans.

  7. We actually have a chance of rain in the next two days here in KS--I just checked the radar and there are spots! Maybe it will continue east to you. I just planted all my pumpkins and gourds (about a week later than usual). I don't usually plant anything else for fall--by then, I'm too burned out. So far it has been a bountiful harvest from the garden--tomatoes, especially--but I think I've reached my limit. Bravo for all your hard work! I think rain and cooler temps would rejuvenate me a bit--I'm sure it would you, too!

  8. I think Clara is a person I would have loved to have met.

    Lovely post. Thank you for reminding us all to be thankful for what we have.

    1. I should have said ... I would love to meet.

    2. Actually Clara passed away at 102 years of age. She was an inspiration to me and taught me so much when I first moved here. Her stories were fabulous and I regret now not writing every word of them down. Before she died she gave me her quilt frame which is one of my most prized possessions : )

  9. Bravo! Well said!! Things are the same here in Ohio. We won't get much from our garden,but I am thankful for what we do have! I hate to see the grass completely brown and the earth cracked. It is painful to see and not be able to do anything.
    Thanks for the great post!

  10. Beautiful post:)) Lovin' the pictures!

  11. Such a lovely post, CQ! I was blessed to have been raised by grandparents who lived through the Great Depression. Their sage advice and the values they taught me are invaluable. I only wish they were still with me.

    Mother Nature is reminding us that she is a hard mistress this year. Those who got crops in early are doing fairly well but those who didn't are suffering. I have seen with my own eyes that the bean crops this year will be awful. We all need to hunker down, pray for rain, and soldier through it.

  12. Wonderful post, CQ. Thank you for sharing it with us. Have a blessed week. ♥

  13. As you know, I love all your posts, but this one really touches me. We are going through the same here in middle Georgia. When I drive and see formerly beautiful, green rows of corn turned to ugly dried up brown stalks I can only say a prayer for that poor farmer and his family. We have been fortunate in that I can still move my sprinkler around and get most of the gardens watered and we have had 2-3 good rain storms in the last 2 months so we are still harvesting food but there are so many that aren't and I fear what will be coming in the future with already broke people trying to buy food that is way too expensive.
    That Clara sounds like she was an awesome lady. I am glad that she could teach you something. Kind of how you teach all of us through your blog. May these lessons not be in vain!!!


Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry, but I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever (abusive, profane, rude, or anonymous comments) – so keep it polite, please. Also I am not a free advertisement board if you want to push a product on my comments I will delete you fast !!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails