Thunderstorms rampaged across eastern Kentucky yesterday and last night, wreaking havoc on small garden plots and large fields alike. I personally live in Pikeville, and as it turns out I was one of the lucky ones; Only a few of my tomato plants bowed down to the might of the wind. Others, it seems, were not so fortunate. Driving through several counties today, I saw fields of corn uprooted and lying down, stakes of tomatoes twisted and torn apart, and branches of fruit bearing trees scattered across yards and roadways.
Evidently Pikeville got the least of it, but for those of you who may have lost precious crops to the winds and rain, I would like to extend a bit of comfort and reassurance. The first year I grew corn, the stalks grew in beautifully. Their color was impeccable and they reached to the sky as if they believed they were mighty trees that would never fall. And then came the high winds of and pounding rain of a crazy huge thunderstorm… *sigh* Trees were knocked over, huge branches crashed to the ground, and I stood at my back door keeping watch over my few raised beds of veggie plants and biting my nails like a nervous mother on her child’s first solo venture down a staircase. I eventually gave up my watch when the power went out and I had to go do motherly things, but when the storm subsided I ventured outside to repair (hopefully) any damages done to my plants…
Every single one of my perfect corn stalks were bent over. They looked broken, as if they had finally just sighed and given in to the weight of the storm. I tried to stand them back up, but they would not cooperate with my efforts, so I resolved to pull them up the next day. I went back into my house and cried and said some not so palatable words. I went to bed that night dreading the next morning when I would have to pull my hard work right out of the ground… ‘How do corn farmers do it?’ I wondered.
As it turns out, corn farmers handle it, I suppose, by not handling it. To my surprise, the next day, the majority of my corn was standing back up, straight and strong as if there had never been a storm at all! A few stalks took the better part a another day to straighten back up, but in the end I didn’t have to pull one single plant.
This resilient quality of corn is, I suppose, common knowledge for many, if not most, of you, but it changed the way I approach gardening. I still treat my plants with love and care, talking to them each day as I check for weeds and illness, but I don’t freak out every time the wind surpasses 5 mph. I am much less fussy over my garden now, letting my plants do what they do and trusting nature to know what she’s doing, and you know what? They are all doing just fine (even the ones that got blown over last night).
That said, I do hope that no one lost too much to the storms and that everyone is doing well!
Until next time,