On Sept 16, 2020 we were directly hit with a major storm. It actually lasted three days and has left the tea farm in a complete mess. We are only a mile from Mobile Bay where the eyewall passed over at 4:00 AM. And yes, it goes from screaming hurricane force winds to still and quite. This eye moved slowly so that is took over an hour for the wind to come in hard from the other direction. This is our 11th hurricane but this one was by far the worse. When we went to bed it was a cat 1 storm going to Louisiana but what a surprise we got when a near cat 3 hit us.
The tea bushes out in the field actually took it quite well with little damage. The rows under the trees are still buried in debris but they will do OK. The picture is of our 30 year old area. The other has the tea our in the fields in the back ground and another of the shade grown bushes. We lost the roof on the pump house and chicken house and we lost half of our chickens, four peacocks and two large koi fish. The barn roof leaks but the house roof is ok.
We went eight days without electricity and water. It was very hard living. You worked on keeping clean, running the generator and making food all day long. Because we did not think it was coming this way, we had made little preparations. That will not happen again. There is another Hurricane Delta expecting to be here this Friday and we will be ready.
This has thrown my tea production into chaos. There is a good crop needing picking right now but I do not think I will be able to get to it before it gets too old. I am still spending the day with a chain saw and dragging 60 foot limbs out in the field to burn. My dry pen where I wither and dry tea out on my front lawn is gone and with another storm coming I just do not know if I have finished the production year or not.
Thank you for the emails asking about us. I appreciate the friendship with so many tea people.