Rainy Day Homesteading

Reader Contribution by Anna Hess And Mark Hamilton
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Like all farmers, Mark and I spend a lot of time thinking about the weather.  Even though I thought I was pretty tuned in, I was surprised to realize last week that the sun doesn’t rise in the east.

Meanwhile, the extreme heat and drought gave way to constant rains a couple of weeks ago.  You know it’s wet when the frogs move inside to take cover.

While good for getting those pesky fall vegetable seeds to sprout, the wet does leave us open to tomato blight and slows down the growth of summer crops.  I was a bit worried about spring root crops, so pulled in half the onion harvest a bit early.  Luckily, our homestead boot collection is sufficient for all levels of wet, so our feet stayed dry.

One thing you can do in wet weather is organize the barn.  Mark’s getting heartily sick of the task, but is making good progress.

Of course, rain makes the grass (and weeds) grow.  Too bad Mark’s fancy weedeater broke its flywheel shaft key and turned out to be difficult to repair.  On the more positive side, kill mulches, tomatoes, and butternuts have done a good job of keeping weeds down in the forest garden.

Our blog readers have had a bit of extra time on their hands due to the rain too.  They made some very astute comments on my answer to a reader’s question about the cost of self-reliance.  Maybe you’ll chime in too?

Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton blog about their homestead adventures at www.WaldenEffect.org.  They make a living selling a POOP-free chicken waterer (many of which may have arrived slightly damp this week since Mark had to carry them out in a downpour).