Sunday, May 11, 2008

A view from the farm

Mom sent me a few pictures so I thought that I would share them with you.
This is during the flood. The little shed is where she stores gardening supplies and other thing that she doesn't want in the house. She said that she hasn't even looked inside yet.
Here is some of her flowerbeds. This is in the high part of the yard.

And this is the garden and part of the driveway. the road along the river runs between the hedge on the left and the bush on the right.
This is a view of the farm from the second story of their house.

This is her basement. Mom has/had a ceramic shop in the basement. The bottom dropped out of the ceramic business a few years ago, and mom got sick so she really hasn't been doing a lot down there in the past few years. But the kiln was still good (you can see the lid of the kiln just behind the door. They moved all of the molds and whatnot up to above 2 feet expecting that much water in the basement. But as you can see, it wasn't enough.

And some aftermath shots.
This is some of my brothers stuff that he stored at the barn.

Here is water still in the milking parlour. Mom said that after the last milking, the sewers were full of water and so they just scraped what they could of what the cows deposited that milking, into a pile where it dried.
A note on milking parlours for those of you who have never seen one. The image of a maid sitting on a milking stool is one of those things that is way in the past. There are probably some people that milk their one or two cows by hand, but not in my family. Some of dad's "girls" can produce up to 40 litres of milk a day. They get milked twice a day and there are some 70 cows that need to be milked. The modern milking machines work with suction. The silver tubes that you see hanging down in groups of four are attached to the cow's teats. While they are hanging down, there is no suction. When the get turned up and attached to a teat, they start sucking. In our set up there are 8 cows that are getting milked at any one time and in order to save the farmer from a lot of bending and stooping, the place where the farmer stands is lower than where the cow stands. And that place is full of flood waters.

Water level on the milk storage tank.

Here is a view of mom's garden. The soil used to be about 6 inches above the level of the grass. Now it is about 6 inches below. Those are leeks that mom left in the garden last fall. Their roots are now showing.

A couple of years ago, mom and dad had a new well drilled. The currents eroded the soil away from the well cap. Thankfully the water did not reach the top of the well. If it had of, the well would have been contaminated.

One of mom's perennial beds. Her day lilies had a lot of the soil from around their roots eroded away. You can see part of where the soil from the garden went to in the upper left. There is a sand bar across mom's lawn.

Gravel from the end of the garden where the well was dug.

One of her compost bins that wasn't fastened to the ground.

It ended up in the hedge along with a lot of other debris.
Wooden swings and yet more debris sitting on one of mom's large flower beds. You can also see part of the sand bar.

What a mess.


Dave Daniels said...

OMG Jackie, that's horrible. My heart just dropped when I saw her ceramic shop. It's just incredible...

Leigh said...

Those pix are heartbreaking. I hope they aren't too discouraged.

TadMack said...

Aw, geez. What a mess, indeed. At least the water is beginning to recede... Time for the rubber boots, gloves, and shovels...

One plus: your folks should have a good garden this year if they have time to get one in. If your Mom moves that sandbar to part of the garden, she can plant sweet potatoes.

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

My goodness what a clean up job that's going to be. Hope they have help.

Dani said...

So sorry for your family. I wish I could come help clean up!

Valerie said...

wow...what devastation. I am so sorry for your parents. My in-laws are/were dairy farmers (retired, they still rent out the farm to a couple who are dairy farming).

I don't know about Canada, but in the US, there are strict gov't requirements regarding the milking parlor, the holding tank, etc. if you are selling the milk commercially. (I'm sure Canada isn't much different there.)

You didn't mention of the other large equipment: tractors, combines, harvestors etc?
I hope that they get all the assistance they need to help with their recovery.

DaviMack said...

I wish you well during the cleanup - and during the replanting / building, etc. What a mess!

Anonymous said...

As the others have said above, it is quite heart breaking to see all the damage. I gather that the clean up at the barn started first so that the milking cows could come back as early as possible (flood or no flood, cows still need to be milked).

I can't even imagine what the carnage will be like with the remains of Mamoo's ceramics business once the water retreats and the basement dries up enough to try to sort through it.

Curious Llama

Anonymous said...

Well folks, the clean up at the farm is coming along just fine. We have the milk house, the office, the bathroom, the milking parlor, the cow bedding area, the little calves area, the bigger calf area, the dry cows area ( the cows that are waiting to give birth) all cleaned up and sanitized with hydrated lime and today the area for the heifers was cleaned and now we are letting it dry so we can apply the lime to sanitize. There is still a lot of other spring clean up that is needed to be done around the farm but it will be done when the time comes. Next we have to clean the drift wood and debris from the fields but the water is still in the fields in the lower ends.

We need to get rid of years of accumulation of junk and are going to get a big dumpster.

Sunday afternoon we worked on the back flower bed where all the drift wood and debris was dumped and will finish it tomorrow.

We are taking it one day at a time and feel no different than before the flood. Life is too short to worry about these little inconveniences that life throw at us to see if we are getting the message or not of what is important in our lives.

In my ceramic shop I have about 3500 molds and two third have been under water, my two kilns, my pouring table, pouring machine, reclaimer and paints, glazes, drawers after drawers full of electrical supplies, etc., etc. I have not yet had time to sort things out from my ceramic supplies that had water damage.

Molds will have to be dried and examine when the time permits and the clean up begins. It will be a bit awkward as molds takes a lot of space. The discards will have to be smashed so they will not take so much room in the dumpster as each molds are hollow in the center. A wet mold weigh an awful lot more than a dry mold. Soon it will be all behind us and we will feel a bit lighter for getting rid of an awful lot of stuff that we REALY DON'T NEED ANYWAY.


Leah said...

Thank you for sharing the pictures. It looks awful - so much mud and so much hard work washed away. The flower beds seem the most sad.

Kansas A said...

Oh my Lord Jackie! I just shuttered when I saw your Mom's basement... tears actually started welling up in my eyes! Thank the Lord everyone is okay but what a mess :(