Nine days. That is how long we were without electricity after a hurricane hit Maine on October 30th bringing down almost half a million people’s, and half the state’s, power. This experience, while irritating, taught us the value of resilience and community. It also taught us what we need to do to be comfortable if this happens again.
Luckily we have a wood stove that heats the house comfortably and gas burners for cooking. What we did not have was a generator or running water (the well pump is electric). With a fridge and freezer full of food (my entire garden’s bounty), help was needed in the form of a generator. Union Farm Equipment was out of stock and Amazon did not offer Prime on their generators.
Fortunately friends and neighbors came to the rescue. We were loaned two different generators until we were able to buy our own little Honda eu2000i 5 days after the outage. We were offered showers and electricity for charging our phone and computers. Our closest neighbors’ offered us water. They welcomed us to use their home as if it was ours. We made a daily trek to fill jugs, buckets and pots.
In times like this we learn our vulnerability and our need to come together as a community. Figuring it all out alone would have been challenging. With help it was trying but doable.
With water we could drink, wash dishes, feed our animals and shower (if motivated) by heating up a pot on the stove.
With a generator the fridge and freezer were saved and phone, computers and Internet available. We had everything we really needed and a tighter knit community to boot.
I am now looking to buy a solar well pump and big water storage jugs for the basement now.
The garden is officially finished for the season except for my parsley, leeks, chard and kale. Everything else, sadly, went with the frost. Luckily I was able to pick this gorgeous bouquet of zinnias right before it was too late.
There was a frost last night and I feared for the worst. I quickly tried to pick most of the green and slightly ripe tomatoes, the last of the sunflowers, tomatillos, beans, basil, and a big green pumpkin. I also cut all of the sunflowers down so I can hang them to dry out and save the seeds for planting and chicken food!
It’s 7 am and I am just about to head out to the garden. When I harvested this basil, tomato, tomatillos, and a giant surprise cucumber, yesterday morning I did not realize it might be my last. I had peeked at the weather and did not see that it was going to frost last night. It did. I had a TON of tomatoes, basil and tomatillos still growing; also many zinnias. I fear the worst. Off I go. Wish me luck!