The biggest snow since 2004. Hard to measure accurately as it came in various forms. When we got up at 4:00 a.m. on Saturday morning there was around 4 inches of a nice powder, about then is when it became more sleet like and denser. Maybe another inch of this stuff fell but it weighted down the lighter snow underneath. What we ended up with was 5-6 inches of heavy crusty snow.
We were up that early to go out and sweep the snow off of the unheated tunnels so they wouldn’t collapse. It is one of the drawbacks of having structures to grow crops in the off-season, they are vulnerable to big weather.
Fortunately the Big Tops are uncovered for the winter so we don’t have to worry about them but the six sliding tunnels we do have to watch. Since we built our first tunnel in 1997, only three other storms have forced us to go out in the middle of the night to clean them off. The worst, of course, was the record 20+ inch snow of 2000, when we stayed up all night, going out every 2 hours to sweep. By the end of the night we were almost hallucinating from exhaustion.
Usually 6 inches of snow doesn’t make us nervous but with the potential weight of this stuff we had to be cautious, good thing we were. We saved the tunnels with one good cleaning but our old pick-your-own stand collapsed under the load, onto the big pickup and the car. Looks worse than it is, just a few dents in the vehicles but we will have to rebuild the roof before the Farm Tour. I have taken some ribbing about the quality of my construction on this shelter but it has weathered almost 30 years of storms including Fran’s 80+ mph winds and two 20 inch snow falls. Just wish we hadn’t parked the vehicles under it this time!
So it has been four days now of being snow bound and this is what we have designed our home and farm for. We just make sure there is plenty of firewood and food and then just enjoy it from the comfort of the house. Once the tunnels are safe we have no other worry’s, even if the power goes out. We do wander out and around the place just to view and usually I dust the cross-country skis off and tour the neighborhood, but not this storm.
Each day I have walked the 3 miles round trip up to get the newspaper, it is the closest we can get the N&O delivered. The road is still a sheet of ice and few cars have been up and down it. There have been plenty of folks out pulling sliding devices including this pure country version with a riding lawn mower pulling two plastic sleds.
I also had to chuckle to myself as I walked by this house. Two weeks ago they were out mowing the lawn! Not that there was anything to mow but maybe it was wishful thinking.
This kind of event doesn’t happen very often here. This is only the eighth time since we have lived here on the farm that we have had this much snow or more, so we look forward to these snow days. As long as the tunnels are OK.