Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Storm Stories - Coping

Our 12 days without water and power were not the easiest, but here's how we managed. Again, we used Anna's advice and figured out a system

We got word of the storm while still in Wisconsin and were able to purchase a generator Rockford. Turns out this was a good decision since there were none to be had anywhere around here, and the power was out much longer than we'd first expected. 

Farmer John set up the generator here to keep the freezers running. We have beef and lots of veggies that we wanted to keep frozen. The generator ran here throughout the day, then in the evening Farmer John took it to his parent's house and hooked it up to their freezers. It ran there overnight, and he'd pick it up in the morning and repeat the process. We lost a minimal amount of food because of this system. 

Even more important than keeping the freezers going was taking care of the animals. Their water comes from our well, which runs off of an electric pump. So, no water. In the winter when the well/pump didn't work we used the hand-drawn well, and a stream. However, as Farmer John wrote in this post, that stream doesn't run in the summer. 

Farmer John loaded a water tank into the truck, he could fill this up in town. Once filled with 250 gallons of water, he brought it back to the farm for the cattle. He connected the tank to a garden hose and ran it downhill to fill up a couple troughs. We also used this water for the chickens. The big water tank had to be refilled about ever two days. It wasn't as easy as our normal system, but it worked well. 

With the freezers and animals taken care of, we could focus on taking care of ourselves. On top of all of this, we were dealing with a heat wave. Water jugs were hard to find when we got back to the area, but we did get a few bottles. We drank plenty of water while at the farm and refilled them in town in the evenings.

Our biggest help in dealing with the power outage and heat was Uncle John and Lil's house. They generously offered their home for our use while they were away on vacation. It was our refuge - a place to shower, cook meals, and escape the heat. I don't think I could have survived this time without it. 


  1. Glad to see that your system is working. If it wasn't so hot our animals wouldn't need so much water. We're over in Monroe County, found your farm on Local Harvest. Glad to find some sustainable farmers around.

    1. Hi Tari! I'm glad you found us. And we're glad to know that your farm is nearby too.

  2. Mollie, now you see why we are Wild Wonderful West Virginia! I wonder if Farmer John and Farm Lady Mollie will invest in some solar panels to keep things going in times like these? Those huge barn roofs would make nice solar gathering spots! And, I've been told that old Sat. Disks make nice mini ponds and even solar collectors! Jim and I can't wait to come see the place perhaps this Fall. Much love!

  3. Keep on writing, great job!
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