This was the first major storm that we had prepared for since becoming chicken keepers. Suddenly, we had a whole new list of items to add to our ever-burgeoning emergency supplies. During the days leading up to Irene’s arrival, we were forced to drive to several local feed stores to stock up on feed for our chickens, goats and rabbit. Apparently we were not the only farmers attempting to do so before the storm arrived.
I wasn’t at all worried about Tassie suffering from the stress of the situation. She never does. She has company in that club at our farm with our French Angora rabbit Herbert Menninger. Neither of them were the least bit curious about all of our storm preparations. In sharp contrast, Violet and the chickens seemed to be watching our every move and questioning why we were making them.
With the preparations made, all we could do was wait for the storm to arrive. Well, that and stay up until 3:00 a.m. the night before canning all of the farm produce I could in case we lost power. It seemed doubly cruel that Irene would come calling during the time of year when our daily garden harvest is measured in pounds instead of ounces. The canning pot keeps busy here during August and September, but without power, I’d be left to watch as our beloved heirloom tomatoes and fresh fruit sat on the counter and wasted away.
Invitation or not, Irene came on Sunday morning. While she didn’t drop as much rain as had been forecast, she brought with her wind gusts that knocked out the electricity, telephone and Internet access to our farm. To say that they were knocked out might be a bit of an understatement. The electrical box was completely ripped from the side of our farmhouse. The box, meter and electrical cable snapped from the pole across the street and took up residence in our front yard. It was tough to be optimistic about power being restored in a timely fashion when we had been effectively removed from the power grid. Welcome to life in the year 1840 at 1840 Farm.