Overcome the Challenges of Growing Peaches

Few fruit say summer quite like a tree-ripe peach, dripping juice down your chin and hands all the way to your elbows. Although you are unlikely to find this perfect peach at the grocery store – peaches do not continue to ripen more once picked — you can enjoy this treat if you grow your own. Growing top quality peaches is not without its challenges. If you are prepared, however, you can conquer them with a little bit of knowledge and regular attention.

How to Grow Peach Trees by Stella Otto

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Joy of Snow

In my last post I talked about being prepared with winter weather, thundersnow and power outages. It is important to experience the joy of snow as well. Preparedness should not be about a constant fear of the horrible unknown. Preparedness should not consume your life and prevent you from encountering the joy in each day of  life God has blessed us with. Preparedness should help us react, handle, and adapt to difficult situations more easily so that we may hopefully have more time to experience the joy of snow and every day life. I generally think of being happy as more of a situational thing. Where as I believe joy is a state of heart, soul, and mind.

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Thundersnow and Power Outages

Just 4 days after my post, Is It Spring Already?,  we had snow, thundersnow to be exact. Have you ever heard of thundersnow? It is simply a thunderstorm with snow instead of rain. It is not a common thing. This one was a doozie! The thundering was loud and plentiful and the lightening was bright! Have you ever heard that 10 days after thundersnow there will be another snow? I always have. I guess we will wait and see.

It has been raining pretty much non-stop since Monday. Everything everywhere had standing water. Yards, field, and some roads were looking like lakes. Thursday afternoon the wind was really strong. It had the potential for some serious downed trees and power outages. The lights flickered a few times. So, I filled the upstairs garden tub with water and told everyone to charge all of their electronic devices now in case the power went out.  We had one flicker long enough that the TV did not come back on by itself.

Then, Thursday evening’s temperatures dropped changing the rain over to sleet and quickly to snow. It was some of the biggest flakes I have seen in a long time. Several of my facebook friends within 30 miles or less were reporting power outages. Luckily, we never had any power outages this time, but it is good to be prepared.

Our primary source of heat is an electric heat pump. The home is also equipped with older electric baseboard heat that we do not use due to the lack of efficiency.  I do check them once a year to make sure they are working in case we have to rely on them if there is ever an issue with the heat pump. I did rely on them for a couple of weeks about 6 years ago when the heat pump went out in February and had to be replaced. The power bill tripled from just 2 weeks of use! Still it was nice to have a backup and much better than freezing.

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Is It Spring Already?

In our part of northern North Carolina we do not have a harsh winter like up north. We do typically have four full seasons that I consider to be fairly mild and none of them too extreme.

Our winters are generally cold, gray, and brown with the occasional snow or ice. My definition of cold probably varies greatly from many of you. Our average highs are around 40 and average lows around 28. That being the average, we will have some warmer and some colder. We typically have a few teens and single digit days, but they are few. Those colder days sometimes we still do not get the snow. It just depends on when the precipitation and temperatures line up.

We do tend to get more ice than snow, because we teeter on the edge of freezing many times. I would much rather have the snow than the ice or freezing rain.  I do enjoy a good large snow, but must confess after one good one I grow tired of it. I get tired of the shoveling, salting, scraping, and mess tracked in.  Last year we had an extremely warm winter and saw no snow at all. And this year, it is halfway through January and all we’ve seen is a little snow flurry in late December. It has barely felt like winter. No, I’m not going to support the global warming topic. I personally think weather is cyclical and it cycles back around. Just two years ago we had so much snow at Christmas that I wondered if everyone would be able to drive back and forth for family celebrations. It was gorgeous.
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