Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Invertebrates Thrive

When you got nothin', you got nothin' to lose

The fence is back up around the back forty, but there are still gaps up on the ridge and down at the bottom of the hill. I still don't know what happened to it; I got back from Texas and it was in shreds. Wires popped loose, fence posts leaning at an angle, steel pipes bent into organic curves, rebar doubled over. Blizzard? Ice? Marauding deer? Time and solitude have swallowed the answer. It'll be another few days before I've got it all back up, and until then the deer graze at will. There were twelve in the field this morning.
The greenhouse formed part of the fence along the road, until the snow collapsed the greenhouse. It, also, is a mess of twisted metal. Some of the bows are smushed squat, like the hand of a giant snow beast pushed them into the ground. Some are peeled back on themselves like a huge wind got inside and blew straight up. Supporting beams are twisted and bent like they're going nowhere in particular. I sorted through it all the day I got back and couldn't figure out, for the longest time, what used to be what. It was a hundred feet long. I'll sort through it all and save as much as I can, and rebuild it at fifty feet long. I'll have half the space and thus half the production and get off to a half-assed start, but it's better than no start at all.
The pipes were frozen and the refrigerator died and the front yard is flooded. And the van died and is somewhere beside a highway in Alabama.
But the earthworms are thriving. I left them in two bins, piled high with cow manure, and they have had a good winter, blissfully unaware of storms and freezing weather and general destruction. They munch and they cast. They require little more, and keep munching and casting though the world falls apart around them.
The bees, though clustered into tight little balls right now, have spent the last few days flying around, presumably relieving themselves after long confinement in the hives, but also, apparently, looking for nectar. There was one dandelion blooming near the raspberries.
The storms had not treated the bees well, either, but they survived. I got back to find two of the hives roofless, the bees soggy and clustered inside. By all rights, they should have perished. It was a week since the blizzard, a month since the worst of the winds, and I did not know how long the hives had been open. They should have frozen. They should have drowned. They should have absconded. They stayed right were they were, and they survived.
I've seen hives with cement blocks on top of them, and it always seemed excessive to me. It gets windy here on the farm, damn windy, but I've never lost the cover of a bee hive. Why bother with one more thing to lift? I know now. The old-timers, as usual, are right again. Keep a weight on top. You never know when a gales gonna blow up, a gale that will bend a fence or twist a greenhouse or lift the cover off a bee hive.
There's a lot of cleaning up to do. There's a lot to replace. It's not all gonna get done. A lot won't get done. We've been hit and we've been hit hard and we might not be able to make it back from this one. I haven't frozen and I haven't drowned and I won't abscond. There's gotta be at least one dandelion out there.


  • At January 23, 2010 7:21 AM, Blogger RM said…

    It's been quite a winter, hasn't it? We're looking forward to the end of this one, too.

  • At January 23, 2010 9:30 PM, Blogger Dana said…

    So glad you're writing again. I am sorry to hear your place was so fubared when you got back. It's been that kind of year...


Post a Comment

<< Home


Powered by Blogger