Over the holidays, which now seem so long ago we were busier than expected. Jeff does some relief milking for other farmers in the off-season (milking for a dairy farmer to give them a night or morning off). He was milking for two full weeks, starting on December 21, and into the New Year. It kept us busy, as we still have some work at the farm to do, and I (Carey) also had to work off farm at the office job (which ends Jan 25th) for part of it.
We all ended up getting the cold that was going around as well. It was an eventful time for us. We lost power at our farm the first night Jeff was milking. I was thankful he was spending that night at home to help get the generator out, and up and running to help with the greenhouses. We were without power for 4.5 hours. It started at 4am though so it wasn’t that bad.
With the storm just before New Years that came through we lost power again. Jeff was staying off farm at this time, so it was all up to me. I couldn’t get the generator to stay going, and the house was getting pretty cold. Olivia was here with me. I also had to keep the snow cleared off the three tunnels. In the morning the storm wasn’t too bad, the temperatures were cold enough the snow wasn’t wet, and the winds were blowing enough to keep the snow off. Through the morning everything went well , I got all the chores done (not a problem at all), got the driveway cleaned and started making a Christmas dinner a week late but we thought better late than never. We did loose the rope off of tunnel #3, but with Olivia’s help we got it back on. What a great helper. Jeff had the car at the other farm, so all Olivia and I had was the tractor without a cab.
Then the temperatures warmed up, the winds turned direction, all about the same time the power went out. I had to get to work, first get the generator going, and then work on the tunnels and keep the snow off of them. The snow was up over the front tires of the tractor, but I had to use it to move the generator into place so the greenhouses would be fine. Once it was in place, everything was going well and Olivia had heat back in the house I started on the tunnels.
I was removing about 18 inches of wet snow from the tunnels. The tunnels are 100’ long each. After getting it off of tunnel #1, and #2 I started on tunnel #3. I noticed the rope was back off so decided to quit. My options were take all the snow off and risk having the plastic blow off or leave the snow on and risk it collapsing. With leaving it to risk collapsing at least all the parts will still be there for rebuilding.
I went in the house, completely exhausted to find out the generator didn’t stay on. I got it started again but not for long. It was looking like a long night.
In the end, we had power to the greenhouses but nothing to the house. We wondered how long it would be out for. Olivia got to enjoy our emergency box of granola bars, and to her surprise they were chocolate covered.
We did have some damage to the one greenhouse, the end wall plastic came apart. It took a couple of day to get it repaired, but we did.
I was about ready to give up, when the power finally came on. Olivia and I had everything ready to sleep in the living room together for the night. We still slept there (but not well). I was glad when morning came.
The doors were frozen shut so I couldn’t let our dog out without first taking the hair dryer to it, but got him out.
Jeff arrived home shortly after the chores were complete. I haven’t been so happy to see him lately. We stayed for the day, did all the chores and spent the night at the other farm as a family.
We were too exhausted to go out for New Year’s. We called it an early night after a few family games.
We did have some good quality family time over the holidays, and they weren’t that bad, just the storm and power outage. Which in the end make us stronger individually and as a family.
We hope that your holidays were filled with good memories.