Once again I am talking about the weather. The winds we had last week were bad enough, but Denise (the menace) seems to be outdoing Ciara this week. The cafes gazebo went on walk about by 5m into the middle of the yard and it had been anchored down by railway sleepers. It is now tethered to the farm building like a boat.
Once crops are finished in late August we start to put the raised beds 'to bed' by covering them with mypex and old tyres. Mypex is a breathable woven plastic that lets air and rain water into the soil whilst protecting it from erosion and suppresses the weeds. On each 100 foot bed we usually have 40 tyres to hold the mypex down. As Ciara danced through last week, she took more than a few tyres with her, and we had lengths of plastic flapping in the wind. Yesterday I placed tyres on the beds within touching distance of each other, yet this morning tyres on some beds had moved and plastic was waving. So the last tyres went on. So far they have held, but by tomorrow ……….?
I have received a couple of e-mails where other farmers have lost tunnels. One of the tunnels had only been erected 2 weeks ago. It reminded me of the wind of 1994, when within weeks of proudly replacing the plastic on our own, it was 'unzipped' right down the middle. I remember putting up a picture of us trying to repair an old cover last season and it disappeared to the winds. Most of the tunnels have new 'skins' on them so hopefully they will weather this storm.
I remember when I first knew Andrew and how I resisted having more tunnels. Now when I am in a tunnel harvesting the Salad Leaves, I look out to spy Andrew dressed head to toe in wet weather gear, fighting not only to get the Leeks out the ground, but to keep the wheelbarrow on the ground. I am thankful we have tunnels.