Hail Storm 2012 = Frowny Face

Well, I feel like I jinxed us.  I talked about hail, I researched hail, and I even blogged about hail.  And by the end of July I was feeling pretty confident that the chance of a hail storm hitting the PEAS Farm this growing season was slim, I mean it’s almost August, right?  There shouldn’t be any major storms coming our way until September at the earliest.  But as I weeded at the farm this past Friday afternoon, I was alerted by our caretaker Beau that a large storm cloud was looming nearby.  After we took a quick dip in the creek before the mega-clouds (there were two giant clouds seemingly on a collision course) took all our afternoon sunshine and heat, we were back at it weeding away when the rumbling began.  And the rumbling was not “thunder” per say, but sounded more like the sky had an upset stomach.  I looked over at a fellow weeder and said, “that sounds very unsettled” and went back to weeding.  Two minutes later we were running for the barn.  The hail had begun, slow at first, for about a minute, faster after that, and finally about five minutes of machine gun speed, almost marble-sized hail and high winds like I have never seen in seven seasons at the farm.

Needless to say there was crop damage, and after the first post-storm walk around I was very frowny.  The pumpkins looked crushed, the corn looked mangled, the broccoli was sideways, peppers had hail entry AND exit wounds, and the chard was tattered.  But after a few days things seemed to bounce back, and amazingly we aren’t going to lose any crops this year!  Now, you CSAers may see some holey greens for a while, and some dented cukes and zukes and peppers, but be proud and eat them anyway, for they are the battle scars of some of the toughest, most resilient vegetables I have ever seen!  And really the holes and dents don’t affect the taste at all!   So remember, when it seems like the sky is falling and the world is coming to an end, be like the grass (or the corn, tomato, or zucchini plants), bend, but do not break.