Preparing for Rain

The sun is shining, the sky is a striking blue, and out of nowhere a strong gust of wind foretells the front moving our way. We’ve been preparing this week, trying to get ahead of the weather as our place is still soaked from the last round. But being able to prepare hasn’t always been easy.

Let me bring you back to our starter home- a cozy, one bedroom log cabin in a rural valley. The lack of cell phone service, internet options, and TV reinforced the peace and quiet. Did I mention quiet? We’re talking standing on the tractor to try checking voicemail, let alone attempt a call, quiet.

We managed to pick up one major TV network with our antennae… on most days. When a dedicated weather channel popped up, it was a game changer. We no longer had to remember to check the forecast while we were in town or worry about missing the news, could watch live radar when storms were rolling through, and actually plan which days would be the better weather for working outside! This may not seem like much, but it was definitely a small win. I distinctly remember being glued to that channel as we watched water inch closer to our home during the 2010 flood.

Fast forward a few (okay, quite a few) years… we now live high on a hill above a much smaller creek, have our own home weather station with an interior display panel, access to all the major TV networks, and weather apps on our phones. Instead of worrying about finding the forecast, we weigh the different predictions and try to determine which meteorologist is sensationalizing incoming weather the least.

Why care?

Planning ahead helps us minimize muddy ruts in our field that need to be repaired like this.

It’s winter in Tennessee and one thing is certain- we’re going to have rain. For us, knowing the forecast helps us plan ahead. Our animals still need to be fed and chores done, but part of stewarding our land is minimizing our impact- and that means treading lightly when the ground is saturated.

So much of managing a homestead is planning around weather- using the tractor to move round bales now to avoid tracking up fields, taking inventory of your grain stores so you don’t risk hauling wet feed, assessing the forage left in portable electric netting areas to determine if you need to move them now or can wait until the ground dries up, waiting to plant anything that may stay too wet or get too cold, adding heat lamps for sensitive animals during the coldest snaps, and adjusting your plans to complete indoor projects on rainy days.

Bringing home hay for our goats on a dry day.

My list keeps growing. What’s on your rainy day to-do list?

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