As I write this we are receiving yet another 4-8 inches of snow for the second time this week. Though Monday's storm dumped on us twice as much, so I should be grateful at 8". In a recent Facebook post I stated how I would rather be weeding than shoveling snow. At least with weeds I don't have to worry about them collapsing any of the greenhouses or buildings.
So my snow days consist of shoveling around the greenhouses and pulling the snow off of the tops with a long handled broom. This chore is mundane and a pain in the neck, back, and elsewhere but at times quite comical in a warped humor sort of way. Such as with Monday's snow. I was shoveling along the edge of the big greenhouse and was about half way to the end, taking a break, admiring the large snow bank I was making running parallel to the greenhouse but also thinking that I would need to get the long handled broom to pull the 15 or so inches of snow off the top. As I was admiring and procrastinating I heard a slight moan and shh sound. I looked up to the greenhouse roof to see those 15 or so inches of snow sliding right towards me. Oh crap! The majority of the roof side of snow was coming my way and I couldn't move fast enough. Greenhouse Snow Avalanche! I held the snow shovel above my head so in case I was buried alive Eliza could find me after she stopped laughing. Yes, she witnessed the whole scary event. The worst part was I had to re-dig to get out.
Unfortunately Monday's experience was not my first with the Abominable Snow Monster. In 2011 we were getting dumped on with snow every 3-4 days much like this year. One storm blessed us with over 20" of snow along with wind. The roof at the lower end of the big greenhouse had about 3 feet of snow drifted on it. At 5'3" standing up straight, I really didn't know how I was going to get that off. At the time there was no way to heat the greenhouse either. So I came up with the brilliant idea to use the step ladder. Can you see where this might be going? Yup, the ladder idea didn't work out so well. Luckily I landed in about 3' of snow. Unfortunately landing in the 3' of snow was easier than getting out of it. I did have some foresight and left a post-it note for the girls to come down to the greenhouse once they were finished with chores. Just in case.
These storms have left me thinking of potential headlines for the Post Star and the evening news "Greenhouse Snow Slide Buries Woman" or "Woman Wallows in Snow to Save Greenhouse."
All joking aside, these snow levels are a serious threat to greenhouse operations. During Buffalo's bombardment of 7' of snow a large greenhouse complex collapsed. The owner said it was like a domino effect, once one house started going they all went. The cuttings and young plants they had started could be seen amongst the broken pipes, ripped plastic, and piles of snow.
There are some challenges Mother Nature throws at us that we can not foresee, prepare for, or have control over such as hail but that’s another story. While the snow flies, I know what needs to be done and will do whatever it takes to beat that Abominable Snow Monster away from my greenhouses!