|I know how it feels.|
In Southern Alberta, farmers and ranchers plant three rows of trees.
The first row, furthest outside, is a row of caragana bushes.
They grow the fastest and protect the other, slower-growing trees.
Next come the poplars.
Not quite as fast-growing, but faster than the pines, which form the third row.
The three rows together form an effective, natural wind break.
But they take a while to mature.
My brother, Jerry had a dream.
He wanted to raise hydroponic tomatoes.
He had done his research.
Tested the water.
I guess hydroponics have certain water requirements.
He was ready.
He built two large buildings. Frames really, which, when covered with heavy-gauge plastic, became hydroponic barns.
Perfect for growing wonderful, delicious tomatoes.
He set up his equipment.
Rows and rows of it.
And watched as his crop grew, flowered and produced little tomatoes.
Which continued to grow.
And were nearly ready to pick.
Remember at the beginning of the story, when I mentioned wind?
This is where that comes in.
Jerry's barns were at the top of a small hill.
His windbreak was in its infancy.
So a plank wall had been built.
Surely that would protect his precious crop.
The wind began to build.
The heavy plastic was billowing in and out.
A great gust went over, kicked up into the air over the barns by the impermeable wooden wall.
It sucked the plastic up with it.
Jerry was standing in his barn when it happened.
In a split second, he saw the walls of plastic lift six inches from the ground.
He had only a moment to consider what he could do to save his barns and his precious crop.
The next gust took the great plastic covers with it.
His crop was destroyed in seconds.
What was it I said about wind?
The Southern Alberta winds yearly cause a lot of damage.
I have lived away from them for over three decades.
I still can't sleep when the wind blows.