Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I Beg to Differ

…If it clouds up in the city, the weather man complains

But where I come from

Rain is a good thing!

Rain is a good thing…

…Farmer Johnson does a little dance
Creek’s on the rise, roll up your pants
Country girls, they wanna cuddle
Kids out playin' in a big mud puddle

Rain is a good thing!

…Start washin' all our worries down the drain
Rain is a good thing, rain is a good thing

Rain is a good thing, rain is a good thing

Rain is a good thing, rain is a good thing

Rain is a good thing, rain is a good thing

Rain is a good thing!

                       -Luke Bryan “Rain is a Good Thing”

Enough already!

So close, but yet so far...
it's raining SO hard that I can't get out of the truck to open the gate!

Ever since the release of Luke Bryan’s wildly popular song in early 2010, it seems that a whole lot of people think that all farmers want it to rain all the time.  

I cannot tell you how many folks have said, “guess you’re lovin’ all this rain!” 

('s not really Luke Bryan's fault...)

Rain is great, rain is wonderful…rain is essential to our survival. 


another day-another downpour
this time I'm stranded in the hoophouse
This year we find ourselves in the odd position of praying that it will NOT rain.  …at least for a few days.
While many folks think that farmers want rain, LOTS of rain, and Luke Bryan’s song has us out dancing, drinking and enjoying the downpour, there comes a point when too much moisture causes all sorts of problems.

The corn and bean farmers (who actually got their crops planted) are seeing some amazing growth.  That’s good.

The hay farmers are either watching the hay crop get more and more mature…too mature, or they “washed” the hay crop in the unexpected, torrential rains that keep popping up.  That’s NOT good. As a matter of fact, that's very bad!
there's a river through the barnyard

On a personal level, vegetable crops really don’t need this much water. The challenges that come with TOO much moisture are every bit as challenging as drought conditions.

Disease runs rampant in the warm, wet weather.

The bug population increases exponentially. Slugs and snails in particular, are eating everything they slide over.

Proper pollination becomes an issue as flying insects don’t get out much on dark, rainy days.
the strange shape is due to poor pollination--these will never look "normal"
Weed seeds, dormant for years, germinate and threaten to take over the entire garden.
Too much water causes tomatoes to crack open.

Crops, like cucumbers, where the fruit sits on the ground are subject to rot.

…and the animals are at risk for all sorts of parasites and possible foot issues due to the weather conditions.

When we face drought conditions, we can irrigate.  That’s not the perfect solution, but it does help. Oddly enough, I quoted a different part of this same song two summers ago when we were experiencing very different, very DRY conditions.  Read this.  For the record, I actually like the sound of the song and it’s in the MP3 line-up that is an essential part of my work routine.

However, there are no umbrellas big enough to cover our farm. (or any other farm, for that matter) There is no way to divert the rain water to some of our agricultural brethren elsewhere who are praying diligently for moisture.  Although, believe me, we would if we could.

So, we do other stuff.  We hope and pray that tomorrow will be a little drier.  That we will get a chance to get those potatoes in the ground. 
potatoes are cut and ready to go
can't plant potatoes in THIS!
That we will be able to get the crops for fall planted…BEFORE fall.

But, for the record…we’re not out dancing in the creek OR mud puddles. Although I have nearly lost my boots more than once in all the muck.

 …and right now,

 SUN would be a good thing!


  1. Oh Barbara, I feel for you. We had a year like that last year when four inches of rain fell in 48 hours and much of our village flooded. We didn't get it in the house but our fields were under water. We have no arable crops, we are all grass land but it still played havoc. Youi must be in so much worse a position with your crops.

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    2. Thanks for your concern for us.
      The village flooded? Yikes! We would have to have rain of Old Testament proportion to have a flooding issue here on the hill.
      I think this post made it sound a little more dismal than it actually is. We are in the midst of the wettest year since 2003 and that was record-setting. But, we are actually able to harvest some things. Some crops are even beginning to flourish. It's just a challenging season. They say farmers have the most faith of any group of people. I'm pretty sure that's because our faith is tested so very often by the weather.

  2. Gosh Barbara we are having rain (lots of rain) here in Southeast Ohio and we are in a section of the country that raises lots of tomatoes. The tomato farmers are not real happy with all the moisture. Some are experiencing blossom rot while others are having splitting problems. The corn and beans are doing well in our small garden but it is so wet we can't get in to get out all the weeds. I hope there will be a few days that maybe will dry out the ground in your part of the country. I love the area you live in. My husband has people in Roanoke, VA and it is a beautiful state. It seems that we have had rain on a daily basis for going on three weeks. We haven't had rain like this in the summer for quite a few years. Last year we had the derecho and lost power for 10 days and it was in the triple digits. I guess we just need to do the best we can of what God gives us. Hope your gardens dry soon and love reading your blog.

    1. Hi Dixie!
      Thanks so much for commenting.
      It sounds like you are experiencing much the same weather that we have been having. This year has been something for the record books. (and not good in a lot of ways)
      We experienced the derecho and the triple digit temps. last year. Thankfully, we were only out of power for 5 days. In retrospect, it was kind of cool to say that we got through it with so few difficulties.
      God is good. He knows what we need. ...and while I will never understand WHY we need all this rain right now, He has never, ever failed us. (and I can/will testify to His miraculous provision on countless occasions).
      I truly appreciate your kind thoughts. Keep reading and come back and comment any time.

  3. Hi, Barbara,

    You have echoed so many of my thoughts recently in this great post! It has been a challenging summer, hasn't it? Our peppers are dropping leaves from bacterial leaf spot- we've never had that before. And the weeds are epic. But, as they say, if farmers didn't complain about the weather they'd have nothing to talk about, right? Fingers crossed for sunny days ahead for your beautiful farm, with love and hugs from your neighbors.

    1. Oh Deirdre, challenging might be an understatement!
      So sorry to hear about your peppers. The frustrating thing is any action we take against bugs and disease just washes away in the next downpour.
      I know that as farmers we talk about the weather far too much. Personally, I'd be content to be quiet for a while. Here's to a break in the weather.
      Thanks for the encouragement!