Sunday, March 3, 2013

Surviving Nemo

The Beginning

Nemo hit UConn with full force and Spring Valley Student Farm was not overlooked. We ended up with approximately 36 in of snowfall after the storm passed through. In order to keep things from succumbing to complete chaos we worked through the storm day and night. Here is a short record of our Nemo Adventures.

The snow started falling mid-morning and accumulated quickly. By 10pm we had well over 2 feet of snow. We decided it might be a good idea to check on our microgreens in the greenhouse out back.
They stayed warm and toasty in the heated green house but we ended up moving them inside to save on propane until the weather warmed up.

Next on the list was the hoophouse. Due to the heavy snow fall we had to rake the snow off the roof of the hoop house so it wouldn't collapse.We used a special tool called a roof rake to clear the snow of the top of the hoop house. Then we shoveled the snow away from the edges of the structure.

With all of the plants taken care of, we planned our escape! 

Lina attempts a break at freedom on cross country skis
She is unsuccessful


The Morning Aftermath

We abandoned all hope of making contact with the outside world around 2am and went to bed hoping the morning would bring a plow and salvation. When we awoke we realized we wouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon.
What are those 5 snow mounds?
No way in, no way out!
Snowy farm
oh they're our cars!











Excavating the Bees

To keep ourselves from getting cabin fever we trudged our way up the hill to dig out the honey bee hives. Bees overwinter in their hives. They survive off of the honey they collect in the spring and summer. The life span of the average worker bee in the summer months is only about 6 weeks due to the excessive energy they exert when gathering pollen. In order for the bees to survive the winter the queen produces special winter worker bees that can live from 4-9 months. The temperature within the hives remains at a toasty 90 degrees during the winter due to buzzing and movement of all the bees inside.

But the digging had only just begun. We also spent much of the night digging out the driveway to the greenhouse so the propane truck could get in to fill up our tank.
During the storm, the door to the greenhouse got stuck open and the heater was working over time to compensate this using up all our propane. Oops.

The Andrews about to start diggin!
Shoveling the driveway up to the greenhouse by headlights











In the end we all made it out in one piece. No one went insane (almost) and none of our plants succumbed to a frosty death.

Surviving Nemo: mission accomplished.

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