My son taught me that time matters, but not the way I thought, on our evening walks around the farm.
It’s a race against time to get North Carolina sweet potatoes dug.
Hurricane Matthew dropped up to 15 inches of rain in some parts of the state in one day. Sweet potatoes are ideally planted on sandy soils that drain well. However, two weeks ago many of the same areas received 10 inches of rain. The soil didn’t have time to dry out before Matthew came to town.
Hurricane Matthew passed over North Carolina on October 8. Almost one week later, the full extent of the damage is still not known.
Thousands of people who were forced to evacuate are still in shelters. Many more are without power or water. Swift water rescue teams have saved hundreds of people who couldn’t get to safety, yet 20 people have died.
The wind caused damage, but it’s the water that’s responsible for much of the heartache. As the storm blew around us, my Facebook feed was filled with requests for help:
A hurricane in the forecast and crop waiting for harvest equal long days and nights for farmers.
We’ve been cropping, or harvesting, our flue-cured tobacco since July. The end is finally in sight.
Tobacco is grown for its leaves. The plant matures from the bottom up so we harvest the bottom leaves, or lugs, first. Then, moving up the stalk, we harvest cutters, leaves, and finally the tips. What this really means is that we crop tobacco four times. Right now we are stripping the stalks to harvest the tips.
This year’s harvest of sweet potatoes in North Carolina is under way.
Hurricane Hermine dropped the rain, spared us the wind, and caused the lights to go out. You may think crop farmers aren’t affected by power outages, but we are.
In the fridge or not? Where do you keep your tomatoes?
What events would the Olympics include if farmers were in charge?
A day at the dairy was a great experience for my son and me.