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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Storm Chasers descend on Kansas

Remember my farmhand? the Roughneck Sioux? Well, not super important if you do or not, but he is part of this story.

Yesterday he flies into my driveway. He said I would never guess who he just stopped and talked to not more than two miles away from the homestead. Who he talked to, I would have never guessed, so he was correct about that.

The storm chasers.
Fwd: Storm chasers in Kansas

He saw them pulled over on the side of the road. Being a good country boy, he too pulled over and asked if they needed assistance. They told him no, and then told him they were taking before photos of the Arkansas river. ( let me interrupt this story, in the State of Kansas the river is pronounce, our Kansas. Once the river flows out of State limits, we recognize it as the rest of you do. We pronounce it correctly)

Fwd: Arkansas river 2012

Of course this peaked his interest. He was told to prepare for some major nastiness headed this way.

Makes me a tad nervous. The storm chasers usually aren't here this time of year. We never have tornadoes in August and rarely have them in November. We are over 4" negative rain fall as of last week. And one of meteorologists allowed it to slip that the storms coming will be a drought ender. Oh. My. Though we are grateful for the rain. More than four inches on the drought strickened land can and will be devastating. We need a nice steady rain, giving the ground time to soak it in. Not four plus inches dumped on us at once. I foresee us being stranded due to flood waters covering the roads.

The drought here has been devastating. The corn fields surrounding us have been abandoned. The corn so dry that it is unsaleable. Some stalks reaching no higher than your knees. The soy, even though being watered, is unable to produce beans. You can see strips of dead crops through the large fields.

Fwd: Corn field

Wildlife has been dieing. The Arkanasas river is no longer flowing. The water is stagnant, breeding diseases. Coyotes are moving in on livestock, including reports of horses being attacked again this year.

Fwd: Arkansas river drought 2012

If you haven't yet, stock up on your meats and grains. The prices will start to skyrocket in about three weeks. Possibly less. Here are some canned meat recipes>>>

We have had to purchase groceries this year because of the drought. I hope to get a fall garden in, but the ground is so hard and depleted there is little optimism. Even the fall wheat hasn't gone in yet, though it should have last week. No point to plant. Without the rain before now, nothing will grow, and the farmers that have planted will see their seedling drown, or their seeds washed with the upcoming rains.

But this is all part of living off the land. I just hope we don't lose anymore farms to the banks. We have lost too many already.


Laurie said...

When you grow up on a farm, you pay close attention to the weather all your life. It never leaves you because you learn how important it is. I remember one year when fields were dying around us from drought and we had a tornado and gully washers drowning our fields. How maddening that was! Good luck, I've been thinking about you during this drought although I may not comment much.

Phelan said...

We are preparing here for what you just described. Ugh! Thanks Laurie.

FancyHorse said...

Thinking about you and your family. I will stock up, thanks for the warning.

Jenny said...

It's been awful down here (Winfield area) too, Phelan. No rain, our gardens produced some early on. However, our peach tree did great this year. A few apples on the apple tree, but our corn, even though it got more water than most, still didn't produce even one ear. We got four watermelons, they were good, a few quarts of green beans, that's about it. Okra is coming on. We are getting ready to start over for the fall and hoping for better results, or we will have a problem come winter. The problem with stocking up in meat, especially for us, being older and not raising our own, is the cost. Our set income just doesn't go far enough any more. We will have to survive the best we can. Thanks for the heads up.

Jenny said...

Oh my gosh, I couldn't get my post to go through!!! I hope it didn't come to you multiple times, if it did, I'm sorry :(

Anonymous said...

I hope we get some of the rain they are calling for in South Central Kansas. We need it! My garden is burnt up, my animals are cranky and so are my kids! A little rain would do us all some good. I just hope we are not a disaster zone (again) after it is done!

Phelan said...

Only came through once Jenny. You are only an hour south of me. If you are up for it, come up and help butcher. You can go home with meat. I have one turkey and several year old cows we will be doing as soon as it cools down.

Anonymous, hear hear! I am hoping that the storm chasers were wrong, and we just get some nice steady rain. I'm in south central Kansas as well.

Katidids said...

Oh no, hope the storm chasers are wrong! We've had some rain, falling in small bits softening the soil. The garden has stated to spring back but as you say it's not going to be enough. This willbe the first year in a long time I'll have to purchase the majority of our vegies. Off to purchase flour and sugar in bulk this week. Good luck with the rains

Anonymous said...

Well you can't bee too far from me if you're only an hour from the Winfield area. It has been awful here. So I'm wondering what are some good fall crops? We only have about 2 acres so I'm looking for things I can can or dry for winter. I am VERY new to the homesteading life and could use all the help I can get! We have chickens and goats. We already raised aided a few pigs and they are in the freezer. We plan to raise a few more in a couple of months ( big family, love our bacon!) We are also planning on raising a calf. I just need some direction on a fall garden if anyone has some suggestions for our area. Thanks!

Phelan said...

I am NW of Wichita. I do have 4 Dexters (long legged Kerry) for sale, and two pregnant milkers. email me if you are interested. As for garden, wait until these rain come. Anything in the cabbage family. Broccili, Brussels sprouts, ect. Lettuce, kale, Dante carrots do well. Anything that has a grow season of 60 days or less need to be planted before next weekend. Pay attention to frost, or freezing fog reports, and cover everything in straw. Cabbage family actually does better with a bit o' frost.

Straw is going for around $5 a square bale. Pick some of those up. Using old tires, I would go ahead and winter potatoes, carrots and onions. You will need about a foot of straw to cover the onions and carrots, get them covered before our first hard freeze. I don't expect one until after Halloween this year. Fingers crossed though, since we seem to have ice storms that day. For you potatoes, just heap the straw into a large mound, and stuff potato seeds in it. You can reach in durning the winter months and pull out what you need.

We will be butchering in Novemeber if you are interested in learning how.

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