Praying for rain

Posted in: Farm Life, Weather | 0


Along with many other people in the County, we are seriously praying for rain. After a mild winter and a cold but mostly dry early spring, we have had a very dry late spring and summer with a lot of heat. In fact, since April 1 of this year, we have had less than 50% of the normal rainfall. Drought has been officially declared in many areas of southern Ontario  and a neighbour who has lived here for 40 years told me yesterday that it is the driest summer that he has ever seen.

Rain has been forecast a number of times in the past weeks and some heavy showers have passed by to the north and some to the south in New York state  but we have missed them or only received a few drops. We have received reports of good soaking rains in some areas north of Highway 401 up towards Ottawa and south across Lake Ontario but we remain bone dry. Last evening we watched beautiful, huge thunderclouds clouds drift by to the south across the lake and watched the intense rain showers recorded on radar but had almost entirely clear skies the whole time.

Compared to some people, we aren’t suffering too badly on Morrison Point Farm.  We have heard of some farmers who have had to write off large acreages of failed crops. Others have had their wells dry up. Thus far our well is holding up and we have been able to water the gardens near the house but have been careful of the water supply and not tried to water our lawn. So the grass in our newly seeded lawn has mostly failed and we are surrounded by a sea of weeds.

Out in the fields, the grass is turning brown and the small areas that we plowed for garden crops (potatoes and beans)  are not doing very well because of difficulty in getting water out there. The goats, pigs and chickens are still able to forage some food from the pastures but they all miss the fresh green new shoots of grass which haven’t been growing for some weeks and the pigs find the hard, sun-baked ground difficult to root in.

Here are some pictures that show some of the effect of the drought:

The grass and even many weeds have stopped growing. Compare this patch of the pasture with a picture below from the same area at this time last year.


2015-07-27 10 04 45
Last year at the end of July, the pastures were rich green and full of flowers.


Our lovely “duck” pond, which was full to the brim with water until mid spring and has been mostly bone dry for the past month. We almost bought some fish for it in April. Good job that we didn’t! It is also probably good that we didn’t get ducks for it but, on the other hand, some people have reported that duck droppings, mixing with mud on the bottom, making a mixture known as “gley,” have helped seal their ponds.


The farm dug out in the back fields still has quite a bit of water in it but its level has dropped by about four feet leaving approximately five feet of water. We haven’t been able to get the solar powered water pump installed yet. I don’t know how the level would have held up if we had been using its water.


We had prepared ourselves for the typical heavy Ontario summer thundershowers by buying four rain barrels, one for each corner of the house. However, except for one shower that put some water in several of them, they have remained dry.


If it doesn’t rain significantly in the next few weeks, the situation could become quite serious. So we are praying for rain. Would you join us?






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