Last week, over the fourth, we were in Minnesota at Jordan’s parents’ cabin. We had a full, fun week. As usual, Jordan kept a sharp eye on the weather at home.

Our farm crops needed rain very badly. We weren’t as bad off as much of the country, but we hadn’t had rain in close to a month – sometime in early June. Then the high heat depleted the crops of their moisture extremely fast. Unfortunately, with high temps like we’ve had, you never get a nice refreshing rain shower; it’s going to come with some severe storm side effects.

The storm that hit Kulm on Friday morning came with 70 mph winds. Immediately, we were most worried about the corn, because the wind can completely break the stalks over. Here’s a picture of the garden before we left, with the popcorn (and Fred) on the far left, followed by a picture of what our popcorn looked like Saturday when I got home.

The Dakota black popcorn took it the hardest. We’re pretty certain it was a variety issue. Dakota black is a 90 day corn, so it puts less time into making a stalk and moves quickly to making a cob. It’s shorter and the cobs are smaller, but it gets the job done fast. Well, in 70 mph winds, you need a hardy stalk to stay upright. In the pictures, you can see the other variety, Robust, didn’t come out unscathed, but the damage was far less.

The field corn had about a 7% loss as a whole. There are pockets in the fields, kind of like with the Dakota black, where it looks like a bomb dropped and sent the stalks every which way, but didn’t flatten them as badly as the Dakota black.

So, we got the good with the bad: 1.6 inches of badly needed rain along with damaging winds. That’s how it goes in the farming gig.

The popcorn is recovering well, it just now has what they call a “gooseneck”. I’ll get you a picture of that when I can, but you can imagine – the corn leans heavily close to the soil and then the stalk just straightens out and goes vertical.

On a positive note, here are some pics of the growing harvest! Cucumbers (pickling size — we already picked the large ones for stirrum again!), watermelons, peas (and a happy consumer), bell peppers and a nice looking 50 square feet of wheat 🙂

We are CRAZY busy right now getting ready for our first farmers’ market (2-6pm, July 17th if you can come!), but I will catch up with all this next week. Adios!