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  • Writer's pictureNic

It's Not All Sunny Days on the Farm

I am a huge fan of sunshine. I feel my best on sunny days, no matter what the temperature is; hot or cold, bright blue skies make me happy. I don't even mind clouds if they are low and skinny or big and puffy, just as long as the sun can pop through and I can see those blue skies. However, I live in north western PA, it is cloudy here... A LOT! It is rainy, gloomy, snowy, misty, hazy and wet for a good bit of every year, the average for around here is 160 days out of 365! That means 205 days of not sunny weather!

The upside to all that gloom is water. We are usually in pretty good shape here with water. We do have droughts and dry spells, insanely hot and toasty stretches where the grass goes brown and brittle and you can dig a hole down 4 feet and still be shoveling dirt as dry as dust, but it eventually comes to an end in October or November and the wet sets in again.

This allows us to grow nice veggies and fruits without irrigating much. Our pastures are lush and last year we took 44 six foot bales off eight acres of clover and grasses for our first baling!

I have also learned some jobs are nicer on cloudy days! Like pruning all the neglected fruit trees, I have to spend a lot of time looking up and a cloudy sky is easier on the eyes for a day of pruning. Weeding is nicer, and transplanting plants is much better when the humidity is high and there is no sunshine to dry out delicate roots.

So hurray for the clouds and the gloom! Being a farmer is teaching me to make hay when the sun shines and to prune the fruit trees when the clouds are thick and to be grateful for both!

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