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Stormy weather

3.5 inches of rain bears down on Stokes County

A violent storm came through the area Thursday night. There were tornadoes 40 or so miles away. Here in Stokes we got high wind, a bit of hail, and 3.5 inches of rain. The rain did a fair amount of damage to the steep bank beside my new driveway where I’ve labored to get grass and clover to grow. The runoff made rivulets through the soil, exposing the roots of some of the tender young grass and clover and covering other areas with silt. Extremely depressing.

There was nothing to do but provide life support (in the form of gentle showers of water from the hose) to the young grass and clover to see if seedlings will re-root and stand up, and if the covered-over seedlings will push up through the silt.

On the areas where I have bare spots, my plan was to plant soybeans as a hardy cover. When I lived in the country back in the 1970s I had great luck with soybeans as cover. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought it best to plant the 25 or so varieties of beans and peas that I bought from Heirloom Seeds in a huge variety pack. I had no room for beans and peas in the raised bed or in the small areas where I added topsoil, so I planted things I really wanted — like canteloupes and little watermelons — and I had just set the bean and pea seeds aside. But, since beans and peas are hardy, and since even a poor germination rate and a poor crop is better than nothing, I thought why not give the beans a chance. With a pitchfork I made lots of little holes in the soil about an inch deep, and into each hole I dropped a bean or pea seed. I got about half done with this process before the rain started again this morning. As soon as I have a good break in the rain, I’ll go poke the rest of the seeds into the ground. The rain should give them a good start and a fighting chance of taking hold.

Beans and seeds waiting to be planted

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