Saturday, April 9, 2016

Nasty weather, my garden and it's affects on my budget

There is snow drifting (not a lot, just enough to see it) down from the sky and it's below freezing outside. Great during the winter, but it's April 9th 2016 and I have plants that were growing and started to bloom before this hit.

A couple weeks ago we had 5 tornadoes in 1 day. Last year we had 7 during the season. Makes the local weather people worried about what is to as Hubby is a weather spotter.

Our local weather station has forecasted that we will have a warmer than normal late spring and a strong thought of warmer summer with temps reaching 90-100s and possible drought.

 I have to change what I plant and where to deal with that possibility. That means it will be doubtful if I can get any fall crops either as they require the cool temps like spring crops to grow.

Hubby and I looked at each other and he asked what the battle plan is ....he used to farm and he knows what this type of weather can do to the budget. Due to my health issues I have to EAT my nutrition NOT swallow a pill or drink something that has been processed.The old fear of running out of food before the next season curdled in my stomach.Been here and done that. I know I can carry us at least one full year from today. Yes we would go without some veggies and fruit so I need to focus on those, but over all we would be okay. Can I take us into 2 years.... MAYBE...That is what I have to look at.

I'm not thrilled that the 200 plus spring bulb garden even though covered won't be blooming this year even though we covered them (wind blew cover off  repeatedly)...but that's part of spring flowers. Plus I didn't spend much money on them as most was what was some where else and I dug up and moved.My summer wild flowers a 35 ¢ package took the hit hard as they weren't covered. I doubt if the rose bush or the lilac tree blooms much if at all. I don't want to think of the apple trees that have budded at my favorite orchard.

My fall planted garlic, my rhubarb and my strawberries are still covered. I won't uncover until the temps stay above freezing. Still I know they won't produce as much or as well.IF I can get the covers off this week.

Horseradish was left uncovered. We had planned for this to be the final year of growing it. With Mom gone , there isn't enough of us to eat it to make it worth the garden space it takes.

With "winter" hitting again, by time it warms up it will be closer to our summer planting in May spring crops means that won't be on the table or in the pantry. I can plant some green onions and lettuce and maybe some radishes in pots and put on the front porch where they will get the morning and early afternoon sun and I can move to the north side of the porch into the shade during the heat of the day.

Knowing the forecast for a drought possible...I know meat prices will rise...they need rain to grow the feed for the life stock and for the life stock. Some will sell now to try to get what they can and not take any losses.I have that part of my budget stretched.

I don't just grow what we eat fresh, I grow what we eat during the year until the next growing season and sometimes in to the following year. Example 2013 was a bumper year of everything , 2014 was good with beans but not at the norm for root veggies or tomatoes. Last year was even worse and it was everything. I also grow for my own seeds and last year I didn't get a lot of seeds.

The Amish produce auction I go to will be limited, I don't know how well they were able to protect the plants they grow and  they only sell their surplus produce AFTER they have canned or dried what they are going to eat as they live from year to year like we do.

Farmers that sell their produce or life stock for meat and orchards that I pick my apples from will be limited.

That's just the food.

That drought means we have to be more careful with how we water the gardens even though we are on a well. We are careful pretty much on how we use our water from years of being in the city ( we lived where it was expensive and I really wished I had been reading The Prudent Homemaker blog at that time). The last thing we need is to run the well dry.

With temps 90-100 °  I will have to refocus to make sure the house stays cool (electric is very expensive in this house) to limit the use of the central air which I will need if the house temp goes over 85 °. Hubby will use the window AC during the day while he sleeps (3rd shift worker) along with the ceiling fan, he only sleeps about 5 hrs a day. I don't use the central air often even though it's only for the first floor. I need to get the landlord to have it checked out before the heat hits.I will have to recheck my fans and make sure they are in good shape also.

Both of our dogs are pretty much all black fur, I'll put a baby pool (which means I have to replace the one we have had for the last 5 yrs) of water in the garage for them to lay in as that's Rascal's favorite way to cool off and when it's really hot Miss Kira will stand in it. Miss Kira takes to either laying with her face into the fan ( I keep on in the front room) or laying on the vent( when its blowing cool air, Rascal does it when it blows hot) in the front room (until we see her and then she moves like she wasn't doing anything she's been told not to do. He doesn't move until you nudge him).

Usually in the warmer months I have sheers and light weight curtains up because we usually have a nice breeze...10-15 mph. with 20 mph gusts. I use window fans in the east windows to blow in and window fans in the west winds to "blow(suck)" out to create a wind flow in the rooms we are in and that helps cool the house. I binder clip (friend gave me over 1000, when they shut down a plant and was going to throw everything in the dumpster at $500 a load. By time he was through they didn't even have a full load...negative side of that, he is now in charge of most of the closings they do) the top part of the curtains together so only the bottom half (if that much ) is open to let the air move through the house. Afternoons the south and west side curtains are closed completely until the sun isn't on that side. A couple years ago I put foil up on two of the south windows to keep the heat out.

I'll be using the grill keep the heat out of the house including my canning (water bath canner works well on a gas grill).

I usually am in the gardens in late morning through the afternoons...with that kind of heat I will have to do the garden in the early mornings...big change to my summer routine.

This week I will spend looking at what to plant and what I need to prepare for the worst...and pray for the best.

Blessings be