Sunday, September 10, 2017

Storm Harvest


A Pennsylvania fruit grower weathers one of the worst storms in memory

They didn’t have long to wait.
The National Weather Service broadcast warnings of a fast-moving storm producing three-inch hail and hurricane force winds. With no way to prepare, Joe O’Hara and his son Patrick took shelter as the onslaught roared into their orchard. They covered their ears from the biting noise of hail on the shed where they hunkered down.
An orchard, a fruit orchard, is a complex system. Each variety of tree requires specific training: some are trimmed to open the inside, some spread out to open branches to the sun. Each row must be kept at a height that will allow sun to strike the next row. Every one of their 40,000+ trees are pruned by hand, thinned by hand, tended to like children.
In the silence that followed the storm, the O’Hara’s surveyed their damage. Boots crunched hailstones blanketing the ground.

Wiped out in minutes...  

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