The weather has been hot this spring, pushing 90 daily. The atmosphere is just bustling with energy. Will and I are always watching the weather, and always trying our best to be on our toes in regards to it. Last night after a long day of work we closed up the greenhouse and headed to our home. (We live about a mile from the farm) We were sitting outside watching the lighting and the clouds in the sky when we started to hear this clinging sound on neighboring roofs and trees. It was light and sporadic; I couldn’t even tell what is was at first, but I had a bad feeling once I realized we were on the perimeter of a bad hail storm. We jumped in the car as fast as we can, as we knew we had to try and protect our greenhouse. We had begun hardening off (how you slowly adjust a plant to UV and outside temperatures out of the greenhouse) our tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, and last night was going to be their first full night outside. As we drove to the farm, even in that short mile, we could see just how saturated the streets were already. We ran out by the greenhouse and tried to move everything under cover as fast as possible; the hail was only about pea size at that point. Then all of a sudden it changed. We went from pea sized—to this. Some of them were two inches, if not bigger. At that point, we knew we had to go inside for our own safety and hope for the best.
Before going home, we took a quick walk through our greenhouse and could see all of the tears it had ripped through our greenhouse. All of our trays had hail sitting in them, and some was so strong it even broke through the plastic of our trays of the plastic of pots. You can see where the hail hit on every tray, there are just big holes. It was strong; it damaged my car and the rest of my families, took out the back window on my mother’s vehicle, and ripped up our roof and siding. It brings back the memories of the 2005 storm we had here, when all the eastern windows of our home were shattered by large hail. I have seen a lot of hail in my life, but it’s rare for us to get this large of it.
We knew we just had to go home and try and sleep it off and get up early to try and assess everything in the light of day. I was kept up all night, as the rain just kept pouring, and another big set of hail came through again around 11:00, and again around 12:30.
Arriving at the farm this morning we didn’t know what to expect. Most of the trays that we’re hardening off (the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) only had a little bit of damage. Most of the trays will be fine, and hopefully we’ll get them in the ground this week. The trays inside the greenhouse have some damage, but we’ll probably be able to salvage 60% of them or so. In there right now are scallions, herbs, flowers, baby peppers. asian greens, and lettuce.
As for our main fields, we got over two inches of rain. Our potatoes and onions were watered in nicely, but some of our other crops we’re hit really hard. Our lettuce was pretty much taken out. Our brassicas (cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower) are large plants, but they lost a lot of leaves in the storm. We’re hoping since most of the crowns look intact, they will be able to grow new leaves and they will be able to make it, it is something we’ll just have to wait and see. Our greens, Kale and Chard, also were hit really hard. We are also hoping they will bounce back, but we will also have to wait and see. A lot of our large successions, beets, radishes, arugula, mixes, had a their greens shredded as well. If you can imaging the hail above slamming down in an open field, you can imagine I’m sure. We have high hopes, but it’s going to take time to see what will make it. We will be sure to keep everyone as updated as possible, and we appreciate all the kind words people have said to us so far. As soon as the ground is dry enough and we are storm threat free (we are already in another severe weather watch for this evening) we will be getting out there and replanting as much as possible to try and bounce back from this as much as possible. Severe weather is something we just can’t control.
This is chard here.
What once was a broccoli.
One of the many sections full of two inch hail holes.