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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Another Minor disaster...

Einav and Yotam our current helpXers are leaving tomorrow after doing a sterling job for us weeding, pruning a tree, dog-sitting, securing a terrace and building a movable compost toilet and a new little viewing terraces right above the toilet as seen on the picture below:

However the last night they spent in the caravan they thought the heaven was falling on their heads.  We heard the thunderstorm on our side of the valley, but didn't get hit by it's full force.  However as soon as we drove into Arcola we realised that it must have been much worse around our land.  On the way up the hill we saw trees stripped of their foliage.  Still not quite realising the full extend we arrived on the land.  These were the size of the hailstones several hours after the storm with the sun already high up in the sky!

They must have come down the size of golf balls originally during the night!  The damage was pretty extensive.  Some of our plants looked like they've been through a shredder.

This was the volunteer pumpkin plant:

The surface of the pumpkins themselves looked like the planet Mars with numerous craters caused by comets:

Another squash with craters:

Swiss chard shredded to pieces:

...and the Greek corn:

and courgettes:

Many unripe tomatoes have been blown off the plant, but at least most of the plants themselves seem to have survived.  Many apples and peaches were scattered prematurely.  Another little step back, the vagaries of nature... :(.  At least the caravan survived the onslaught, our guests were safe and all the terraces are where they were before.

In other news we took a trip into the mountains today to a village called Vinca on the a tip that we might find raspberries up there.  I love raspeberries, but can't grow them on our land.  They only thrive in our climate above a certain altitude, so I was very excited.

The surroundings up there were stunning:

and Eddie played with his new friend Yotam:

but alas no raspberries.  Either we went up the wrong path or someone else got there before us.  We found one and Yotam ate it.

We might try another path next week and I'll let you know if we find anything that time.

Finally everybody, it's time to sow your cats for next season:


chaiselongue1 said...

What a terrible storm! I hope your tomato plants recover - they do seem to be very hardy plants when hit by strong winds, we've found. Have you had cobs from your Greek corn yet? Ours were delicious, but sadly they're over now.

Heiko said...

Chaiselongue, we hadn't eaten our Greek corn yet. I was deliberately leaving them on longer to ensure I have seeds for next year. Hope they'll recover. Tomatoes are fine, but a lot of the squash, cucumbers and melons look beyond it. I also feel for nearby wine producers who will have lost much of their harvest.

Mr. H. said...

What a setback, darn weather. I hope that some of your crops are able to recover and still produce for you. Hail is the worst and one of the most destructive issues we must occasionally contend with in our own garden.

Where you hiked...beautiful country.:)

Heiko said...

Thanks Mr.H. Hope you've been sowing your kittens. ;)

Anonymous said...

The weather is going mad! At least in the UK it is consistantly grey and dull, unlike in Italy where anything can happen at any time. I hope you plants aren't too damaged.

Aidan said...

Hi Heiko

Sorry you didn't find the raspberries! When we were there a week ago, there were endless amounts of them, and I cant believe that many people go there, so they must still be there!
Head to the end of Vinca village, and there is an old road directly ahead of you, which has a warning sign at the entrance (can't recall what it says). You need to drive to the end of this old road - it gets quite bumpy in places, and the surface is breaking up (apparently the road was built during the war). Keep going all the way, perhaps 5-10 minutes, until the road narrows and you can't go any further, and there is a parking spot for perhaps 5-6 cars on the right. The path leads up from the left, and you'll see the red and white trekking markers (I have forgotten the numbers, sorry.) It's quite steep in places, but head up through the woods and within a few minutes you'll start seeing the raspberries. They stretch, on and off, all the way up to the Rifugio/Campanna Garnerone (which is signposted upwards when the path splits.)

And thanks again for all the wine tips! I found 6 bottles of Rigoletto Montecucco in Terrarossa, I'll bring them back in a few years to taste with you then!



Heiko said...

Cath, up until that night the weather conditions this year had been near perfect. We must have done something wrong for god to punish us like that. ;)

Aidan, we realised quite soon we were probably headed in the wrong direction, but went on in the hope of finding a different spot. Thanks for the more detailed instructions, we'll give it another go this week. We're expecting two more helpers in the next few days...

Aidan said...

I should also say, that while you're there, you should head up past the Rifugio Garnerone, keep going uphill and to the right for perhaps 15 minutes. You'll see the trees ending up to your left - once you converge with this you will see the most magnificent view all around you. It's well worth it.

Chris said...

I have total sympathy for you. A recent thunderstorm flooded my allotment and consequently ruined my new potatoes. No matter were you live, weather conditions can never be underestimated.

Veggie PAK said...

So sorry to hear about your weather. That was so extreme! I hope everything survives and flourishes.

Heiko said...

Thanks Chris and Veggie PAK. The damage was pretty bad and we lost many of our olives prematurely too. But it is just one of those freak weather events that can't be helped.

Angela said...

Yotam deserved the one, having been Eddie`s good friend and helping so much, but i HOPE you`ll find more. That path sounds lovely, and the picture was amazing. That weather can really make you mad. You do all this work and hope for a rich harvest, and then all is destroyed, for nothing. Bleah!! But if you had greenhouses, the roofs would probably not have survived. Oh well, may your funny looking melons and pumpkins still taste good! I am glad to hear that Eddie did not have to eat ALL the ham!

Heiko said...

Angela, Yotam was worried that all the world would now know HE ate the only raspberry and it would spark a wave of anti-semitism... ;). We'll be off again tomorrow, this time with a guide, to find raspeberries. We'll also take our latest helper from Taiwan with us.

We're now busy eating up all the damaged pears before they rot.

Angela said...

Don`t worry, Yotam, we won`t tell. I never quite understand what anti-semitism is all about. So it has to do with raspberries?
I hope your Korean helper doesn`t give Eddie too long looks?
haha, I LOVE prejudices. Me, the Kraut, is waving at you!

Anonymous said...

Stunning scenery; so even if you didn't feast on raspberries you got to feed the soul :-)

Looking at your squash reminds me of one of my mum's memories, of when hailstones as big as golf balls made holes in all her pumpkins.

I hope everything recovers but it must be nice to know that your new terraces were up to he task.