Flash Flood Clean-up

What. A. Night.

We got slammed with rain, and subsequently work.

Driving home from church last night, we hit torrential rain and the country roads back to our house were flooding and washing out like crazy. Ended up hitting something that had washed into the road and was hidden under high water, resulting in a rear passenger flat.

My husband and I went out with a headlamp last night to gauge damage. There was a massive portion of our driveway under water and by the sound alone, you would have thought we had waterfront property…we don’t.

Everything looked okay, submerged, but okay… until we got to the terrace garden.

The small swale had overflowed and the entire bottom terrace washed out. All that beautiful topsoil, 3 years in the making- gone. The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

You can see how high the water came up by the leaves that were left behind.

I

I’ve been outside for about 2 hours already this morning and still barely put a dent in clean up.

To start, I built up that low corner where the lettuce box washed away.

Then I extended the smaller fenceline swale, and deepened it. I’m going to put either pea gravel or mulch in/around it to help with drainage.

Next I’ll probably screw those 1x4s to OUR side of the neighbor’s fence.

This changes my plans for the bottom level terrace; it was going to be my salad greens zone, but to help fix nitrogen back into the soil, I’m thinking I’ll put my peas and beans there. And I assume God has a reason for changing my plans. We’ll see what that reason ends up being.

The next steps will be raking smooth what remains of the topsoil, and re-covering with wood chips.

Good news; I hadn’t yet added compost to that terrace yet, so not all is lost. I’ve also got a lot of rabbit poo to add and chicken poo to compost, so if I do end up needing to fertilize, I have what I need.

It’s discouraging, but not the end of the world. I wanted to let you see the benefit of wood chips.

Because the soil was so prepared over the last few years, the plants in it had phenomenal root systems. This is my parsley:

Its roots extend 5 feet from the plant. Not 5 inches, 5 FEET! That is unbelievable.

The sage and rosemary, which I planted in December, stayed put in spite of everything around it washing away.

When you have a firm foundation and strong roots, the floodwaters run right past you, and you’re not shaken.

What a beautiful lesson from a bummer of a day.

Now for a quick lunch break, and then back to work!

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